Strata’s Fluor Pilot Plant Is Open For Business

Designed to give chemical engineering students at the University of Surrey real-world manufacturing experience, the Strata designed and built pilot plant which was funded with a US$300,000 donation from Fluor Corporation’s philanthropic foundation, was officially opened in December 2017.

The newly named Fluor Pilot Plant, which replaces a significantly older and smaller installation, was designed and built by the team at Strata Technology as the centerpiece of the University’s renovation plan for the Chemical Engineering department.

The University of Surrey is an internationally recognised research-intensive institution that is committed to working with industry-leading companies to ensure that its students are at the cutting edge of their field of study.

New facility delivering real-world experience

Dr Roger Kimber, Strata’s Managing Director commented that “our brief from the University was to design and build a facility which would allow students to operate a semi-commercial scale process, in order for them to gain experience of real-world situations and better prepare them for their future industrial careers, and we’re delighted this project has come to fruition.”

The pilot plant produces pure sodium chloride solution from unrefined salt, but includes several pieces of process equipment and process control software to give chemical engineering undergraduates realistic, hands-on experience.

The Fluor Pilot Plant also provides industry-led experience to trainee chemical weapons inspectors from the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, who will use the facility to gain practical hands-on experience in preparation for their fieldwork.

Training chemical engineers of the future

David Seaton, Fluor chairman and CEO, said, “Fluor has been operating in the UK for more than 60 years, and today our engineers are working on some of the largest and most challenging energy projects in the industry. Developing future chemical engineers is not only in the interest of Fluor, but also of vital interest to the United Kingdom.”

University of Surrey president and vice-chancellor Max Lu concluded that the Strata-built pilot plant is “is improving the quality of the practice-based learning that we provide students who will enter the industry with enhanced skills and experience.”

Find out more about Fluor Corporation’s involvement here.

Read Strata’s Fluor Pilot Plant case study here.