Chiamaka Claire Nnaedozie
I am a process engineer and process technology leader who has worked to implement new manufacturing processes and process technology to ensure optimal efficiency, quality, and deliverability of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) products. My roles have involved collaborative working with production teams, Research & Development (R&D), and new product development to achieve shared success.
I completed my undergraduate and PhD in Chemical Engineering and currently work in Reckitt within the Technical department in Supply on their Hull site. My responsibilities include working on technology transfer, process specifications for capital projects, continuous improvement of process technology, and providing technical support on manufacturing processing issues. My team is responsible for leading and coordinating process validation on various pharmaceutical formats to ensure a reproducible and efficient manufacturing process.
I enjoy giving back through my lecturing and participating in employability talks/panels for young undergraduates in STEM.
Go after what you want, and don’t let anyone discourage you from pursuing your goals.
At the beginning of your career, you might find yourself in rooms where you feel outnumbered. Remember to be bold, do not be afraid to contribute, have confidence in your abilities, and not let these negative experiences (which will happen) affect how you feel about yourself.
I always enjoyed the practical applications of maths and science. This is why I chose to pursue an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering. While pursuing my undergrad, I was fortunate to volunteer as a research engineer in Enactus. In that role, I was instrumental in the development of a soap product that was part of an award winning social enterprise project. That project and its impact is why I fell in love with the FMCG field and really recognised its importance and the valuable effect it has on consumers lives. As a result, I then chose to pursue my Masters and PhD research in the FMCG field, focusing on projects that would involve process development and improvement; the perfect marriage between my love for innovation and problem solving and my passion for the FMCG.
In my roles at Reckitt, I have been involved in numerous projects. Some of which have included:
- Validation of a new tablet product for the Gaviscon range
- Reformulation of Gaviscon Nourrisson Liquid
- Commissioning and validation of a new sieve unit in Fybogel product processing
- Commissioning and validation of a new processing suite and packing line for Gaviscon and Mucinex liquids
- Process improvement project for the Dettol antiseptic liquid brand
Something I am really proud of is completing my PhD. It was very rewarding to be able to contribute new knowledge to a field I am very passionate about. It challenged my project management skills and resilience and helped me discover my passion for teaching.
One of my favourite parts of my job—and what drew me to apply for the role —is that there is no true ‘typical’ day.
Generally, on a day when there are no big meetings or presentations, I try to start my morning by catching up—reading and, if necessary, responding to my email and direct messages and checking in with my direct reports. I also try to create a to-do list in the first two hours of the day. Mid-morning, I try to do any risk assessments or document reviews.
I use the post lunch hours to brainstorm ideas for upcoming trials or support my team with queries, since that’s when I’m most energised. This might involve a chat in the office or sometimes a walk down to the relevant processing suite in the factory to go through the process and speak to the production operatives.
Depending on what time I’m done with that, I usually spend the remainder of my day on focused work, whether that’s doing data analysis or putting together presentations.
I view myself first and foremost as a problem solver. So, the most rewarding aspect of my role is resolving processing issues when they arise. My role involves scaling new processes and making sure that current processes run smoothly. When issues arise with processing any of the brands we manufacture at our Hull site, our team is often called to support. I especially enjoy getting to use both my undergraduate degree and my PhD knowledge in the problem solving process. Some of the key challenges I have enjoyed working on have involved troubleshooting powder processing issues and applying understanding of pneumatic transport and fluid dynamics.
I enjoy working with a cross functional team of experts, we come up with resolutions that guarantee that we continue to manufacture products that ensure consumers have access to the highest quality hygiene and wellness.
I had had my fair share of setbacks. For example, the first project I ever worked on in my role after completing my PhD failed. I was hired because of my knowledge in that field and was very anxious when the setback occurred. Though I was discouraged, I was able to call on the cross-functional expertise available in the company, and along with some research I did, I was able to diagnose the problem and deliver a product that was more suitable. What I’ve learned from this setback as well as others that I’ve had over the years is that in the face of setbacks, don’t be afraid to ask for or look for help, be proactive, and do not allow yourself to be defeated.
I had no particular role models that encouraged me to go into a career in STEM. However, I was inspired by my dad’s work as an industrial chemist in the paint industry to love chemistry and the scientific process.
I love dancing. In my free time, I go to weekly dance classes.
Yes, I have. Having the correct career mentor really helped. My career mentor was able to help me put my experiences into perspective and give me the confidence to proceed with putting myself forward for career opportunities.
I get involved by sharing my STEM journey through as many mediums as possible (podcasts, articles, and talks). I also try to give back by offering my time to anyone in need of mentoring/career advice.
To me, it means being aware that even if you do not intentionally set out to be a role model, you are one and are paving the way for others to follow in your footsteps.