Nathan Rafferty CV - REV 2
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nathan Rafferty CV - REV 2
PO Box 4671, Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa, 2302
+2772 115 3718
I am a process engineer with a strong propensity for problem solving, analytical work and process
optimization. I work as a plant support engineer and this has given me skills over a wide
spectrum which can be transferred to most industries. These skills are heavily set around
optimisation through problem solving and loss accounting. Tantamount to this I have developed
strong communication and interpersonal skills to ensure that my recommendations on the plant
are implemented. Working closely with production and mechanical management has ensured that
I have working knowledge of production and maintenance systems. I act as a production
manager on occasion as a section 8 appointee according to the OHS act. This has exposed me
to work and people management systems. I have strong mathematical skills. This combined with
my natural logic and computer skills ensure that I can analyse most problems effectively and
build tools to solve them.
Technical Support Process Engineer, Sasol Synfuels – Sulphur Recovery
August 2013 to present
• I have the sole responsibility for process engineering plant support on Sasol Secunda’s
eastern factory’s sulphur recovery unit. This is a Stretford based sulphur recovery unit
that is heavily chemistry and solids handling based.
• I monitor plant performance through tools that I developed and ensure that plant stability
and production targets are met.
• I analyse the process for bottlenecks and optimise where possible based on mathematical
and engineering knowledge. This requires detailed excel models, mass balances and
inputs from engineering software such as ASPEN and AFT Fathom and Arrow.
• I issue reports to management on the plant status. This also includes doing mathematical
predictions on emissions to allow for management to make informed decisions.
• I am involved in the front-end loading of projects. This includes business cases and
engineering calculations. The most recent project I worked on involved producing a pre-
feasibility package for a new dosing system on the sulphur units.
• I serve as project champion for projects on my plant. This entails HAZOP participation,
risk review, P&ID reviews, squad checks etc. Essentially ensuring that the process intent
of the project is met.
• I perform process based troubleshooting on the plant.
• I ensure that work is conducted safely during our shut down periods where I supervise
work that is being performed. During the 2014 shut down I optimised vacuum truck
operations to ensure that equipment was cleaned on schedule.
• I perform senior standby duties for two plants once a month where I assume the position
of senior production manager after hours and over the weekends. This is a section 14
appointment according to the OHS act. I ensure that air emissions in the Sasol Secunda
plant do not exceed license conditions through emissions calculations.
• I implemented an operating philosophy that increased output on my plant by an average
of 15 tons/day. A value addition was signed-off by plant management. My plant
surpassed its production budget by 10% last financial year by making an addition 5639
tons of sulphur.
• I produced excel tools that monitor the overall effectiveness of plant on a monthly basis.
This is reported to senior management.
• I built models that analyse how effectively production personnel remove sulphur from the
system. This is reported on daily and has helped to ensure optimal operations.
• I work closely with production and mechanical management and have input in
management decisions that affect my plant. This has given me working knowledge of
• I assisted in commissioning activities in a reboiler renewal project.
• I ensure that change management occurs correctly on my plant through the Management
of Change (MOC) procedure.
• I participate in HAZOPs, Potential deviation analysis studies (PDA), Root Cause Analysis
(RCA) studies and risk reviews.
• I act for the Production Area manager of two plants (Wet Sulphuric acid and Sulphur
recovery) when he is on leave. During this period I have 50 people below me in my
structure and have eight foremen and a technician reporting to me. I am responsible for
all production, expenditure and personnel decisions during this period. This is a section 8
appointment according to the OHS act.
Unit Engineer, Sasol Solvents - Hexene
January 2012 to August 2013
• I was the unit engineer on Hexene train two as part of the technical support and
optimisation team. This was a distillation based process.
• I made recommendations to production on ways to optimise the process.
• I performed loss accounting based on plant baselines in order to minimize production
• I performed production accounting. This involved a reconciled mass balance over the
plant including tank inventories. Through this process I allowed my business unit to claim
back R 10 million from the parent company for feed that they did not receive.
• I performed troubleshooting work on the unit. This had a very heavy problem solving
component in conjunction with process engineering knowledge.
• I produced engineering project packages up to gate three on the BD&I model. This
involved problem identification, engineering calculations and the production of business
cases. One of these projects was a R20 million reboiler project that required significant
heat transfer and hydraulic calculations. Other projects included a R1 million wireless flow
transmitter project and a flare liquid overflow drain which was necessary after a fire.
• I was involved in commissioning activities on smaller projects.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
BSc in Chemical Engineering
The University of Cape Town, 2011
Senior Certificate with 7 Distinctions (Afrikaans 2nd
language, English 1st
Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Economics,
Michaelhouse School, 2006
Additional Courses Attended
Troubleshooting Process Operations – Norman Lieberman
Turbo Compressors – Heinz Bloch
Pump Operations and Maintenance – Larry Bachus
HAZOP and Risk Management – Sasol Internal
Legal overview (OHS Act) and Hazard Identification – Sasol Internal
Permit to work RSA for permit issuers – Sasol Internal
Introduction to Cost Engineering and Project Management – Sasol Internal
Member of the Engineering Council of South Africa since 2012
Registered as Candidate Engineer
• Well-developed problem solving, optimisation and analytical skills. This is a key
component of my job and I can solve problems in a logical manner.
• Strong mathematical and numerical skills. These have been developed through my BSc
degree and my career.
• Strong IT skills. Especially in Microsoft office (including MS Visio). I can use engineering
modelling software such as ASPEN and AFT Fathom. I have exceptional excel skills
which I regularly use to build tools.
• Team work. In 2012 the team I was part of won the innovation team of the year in Sasol
• Working independently. In my current career I am the only process engineer on my plant
which means that all the work I do is done independently.
• Strong interpersonal skills. My career requires me to liaise with people from very different
backgrounds and with different education levels. This also allows me to work in a multi-
• Well-developed time management skills that allow me to meet deadlines in my current
• Knowledge of baseline identification. I can use this to optimise processes.
• Production and inventory accounting skills. This was a key part of my previous job.
• Strong communication skills. I am often required to produce reports for senior managers
and give feedback on recommendations I have made to senior management.
• Strong decision making skills. This has allowed me to perform senior standby duties
which have legal responsibility attached to them.
• I have commissioning experience in several small to medium capital projects.
• I have knowledge in management of change as this is a regular part of my job.
• I have a good understanding of process equipment. This includes: centrifugal and positive
displacement pumps, centrifugal compressors, centrifugal decanters, distillation columns,
heat exchangers, venturi absorbers, reactors and oxidizers.
• I have a working knowledge of SAP R/3 -Plant maintenance module. I use it to approve
maintenance notifications, release purchase orders and download documents
(datasheets etc.) pertaining to equipment. The sasol work management, performance
management and HR interfaces are all SAP based.
• Member of the Sasol Solvents innovation team of the year – 2012
• House prefect at Michaelhouse School - 2006
• Chairperson of the Michaelhouse chess society -2006
• Proxime accessit (second to DUX) at Michaelhouse – 2006.
• I assist with the Little Paws Big Hearts program which feeds and administers medicine to
pets in the Holfontein township - 2015
• Assisted in building the Khazimula AIDS orphanage in Lidgetton - 2005
• Participated in the SMILE programme where I taught English to disadvantaged school
• Gave computer literacy lessons to pupils at Asithuthuke School in Balgowan – 2004.
References available on request