Manoj has put his chemical engineering knowledge to use across our Asia sites and has recently moved to North America for a new challenge

Manoj Zalpuri, BSc in Chemical Engineering from Pune University; joined Johnson Matthey in 2000 as a Process Engineer

Chemical engineering

What inspired you to study chemical engineering?

“I was always drawn to solving problems and so applied this to my studies"

I enjoyed studying Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in school in Kashmir, India. I was always drawn to solving problems and so applied this to my studies.

When deciding what to do at university, I felt Chemical Engineering would challenge my learning interests while allowing me to solve problems and contribute to industry.

Whilst studying I enjoyed process engineering, and I used to spend lot of time discussing the design problems with my course mates and professors. I found it very attractive to translate processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the production of products.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in chemical or process engineering?

“Just go for it! It's an exciting field to be in"

Just go for it! There is a wide variety of career opportunities in this field, if you like problem solving and team working.

Chemical engineers work to improve the quality of people's lives. Most items people use every day have needed chemical engineers to produce them.

Together, we are working to improve the environment by developing technologies to combat pollution, so it's an exciting field to be in.

Joining Johnson Matthey

When did you join Johnson Matthey and how?

I joined in June 2000 as a process engineer. Prior to joining, I worked for a consulting company in design and engineering but felt that hands on experience of chemical manufacturing plants would really help me understand how to approach real world problems, and become a better engineer.

When I saw Johnson Matthey was recruiting process engineers for an expansion in Manesar, it was the perfect opportunity. Since then I've worked at sites across Asia and have recently moved to the US.

Working internationally

How did you find moving countries and working in new cultures? What did you learn?

“Being culturally aware helps in understanding others and working effectively"

Moving to different countries on assignment and working in new cultures are very challenging but exciting experiences.

You need to be able to create a work life balance when on international assignments – there is lots to do at work, but I found it important to reserve time for my family.

Being culturally aware helps in understanding others and working effectively when in a new country. Building relationships and being conscious of the cultural norms and values is important.

Being sensitive to other people's values, views, and ways of thinking helped me to express my own views and values in a clear but appropriate way.

What inspired your latest move?

Taking my skills in manufacturing excellence and sustainability, and transferring best practices from one division of the business to another sounded like an exciting challenge.

The business model, products and market in my new role are totally different from my previous experiences in Johnson Matthey, and it is in North America, a place that I have never lived or worked in.

This will provide a great learning opportunity for me both personally and professionally.

My thoughts on Johnson Matthey

“The best thing about Johnson Matthey is its values and culture"

I think the best thing about Johnson Matthey is its values and culture, which are felt all across the company, no matter where you are.

Job roles are highly rewarding and there are lots of opportunities to learn and grow.

I enjoy the freedom of expressing of my thoughts and ideas, and working with highly talented people around me.