2017 Rising Stars Winner Q&A - Pedro Medina, Senior Technology Development Engineer, CEPSA

How has the lockdown affected your daily work routine?
Just some days before the lockdown my company suggested that we work from home, and that was the situation from March 11th until July 7th and now we have started going back into the office once a week. Working from home is an excellent experience.

Tell us about your role as Environmental & Sustainability engineer, what was the most exciting project you worked on?
In this role I participated in the air quality technical working groups of Concawe, I revised different BREFs (Best available techniques reference document) pointing its implications for CEPSA refineries and chemical plants. The most exciting projects I worked on include a Due Diligence performance for new petrochemical plant acquisitions and a new refinery environmental project analysis.

What about your current role as Senior Technology Development engineer, what are your focuses and your favourite thing about the role?
I perform evaluation and selection of technologies for new projects (leading the environmental technology adaptation for new regulations, refinery conversion increase, energy transition adaptation, new product formulation etc.) and retrofittings. I also perform techno-economic analysis of projects in which these technologies could be applied. My favourite thing about the role, is that I am constantly updated about new technologies in refining, chemical, energy transition and circular economy.

What is the technology that you’re most excited about and why? CCUS, hydrogen, biofuels or chemical recycling?
Biofuels and chemical recycling, as they offer the refining industry a good opportunity to adapt to energy transition quickly, without the need for huge changes.

What would you say is the biggest challenge for downstream today?
Downstream is facing very tough times with multiple threats. Nowadays reduction in demand due to coronavirus is hitting the business side of things hard, but in the middle/long term, energy transition (mainly transport electrification and plastic use restrictions) will force the industry to adapt very quickly to the new environment, otherwise you will be out of the market.
What do you think the young engineers of today will say to our 2020 Rising Stars question? (A Day in the Life of a 2050 Process Engineer: How would you revitalise the downstream sector for a role in the energy transition?)
It is a really interesting question. By 2050, downstream should have adapted to the energy transition so I think from now on a Process Engineer should be open not only to refining and petrochemicals, but also to any possible technology that could transform the refineries into energy and material conversion hubs.

What is your favourite book?
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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