Michael Bryce

MEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering, 2012

Why did you choose to study at The University of Edinburgh?

I chose Edinburgh after visiting several University open days. I liked the city, campus, and the department was well rated. 

What path has your career taken since graduation?

I’ve been working for Syngenta for almost 12 years since graduation (2012) in process engineering, production, and project management roles. Initially I started working at the Grangemouth site as a Graduate Process Engineer. I did this for four years; supporting manufacture of existing products for 18 months, then a design project for a formulation plant, followed by an 18-month secondment as a Production Manager.

I then spent five years working at Syngenta’s Huddersfield site as a Process Engineering Team Leader looking after the manufacture of new products. A key highlight of this time was leading a process engineering team on a new product introduction project from feasibility study through design, then commissioning and initial manufacture.

I have spent the last three years working in project management roles both supporting deployment of digital health and safety (HSE) tools, and now managing technology transfers between sites and asset strategy projects. It's an exciting place to be helping to shape the manufacturing footprint required to meet our customers needs!

What is your current role?

Project Manager within Syngenta's Formulation, Fill and Pack division. I support teams working on technology transfers where we moved a product from one site to another, and I'm involved in larger scale projects such as setting up new manufacturing lines with internal sites and third parties.

What experiences do you feel helped you get to your current position?

  • Technical background: established through degree and placement.
  • Experience: gained on the job.
  • Soft skills: ability to connect with people and teams, and a questioning mindset.
  • Relevant training courses: including Project Management Professional (PMP), Supply Chain & Logistics diploma.

How have you used the skills and/or knowledge developed during your degree in your career?

I’ve utilised engineering design calculations and good fundamental understanding of unit operations for both design and troubleshooting of manufacturing processes. Having a good understanding of process safety fundamentals has also been invaluable too. 

Did you do any work experience while you were a student at the University of Edinburgh, and if so how did it help you in determining the field you wanted to pursue professionally?

I undertook an MEng Placement and a part-time job. I enjoyed my placement and it helped me decide that I wanted to start my career in a role where I was involved in a manufacturing site.

Can you tell us of any personal or professional achievements in your career so far?

Career highlights include mentoring graduates to chartership, personal development, and being involved in exciting projects.

If you could offer some advice to prospective and current students what would it be?

  1. Take advantage of any opportunities for site visits, internships, and meeting experienced engineers. You’ll learn something from every interaction.
  2. Keep up-to-date with industry trends and developments.
  3. Build up your supplementary skills such as leadership, communication, and planning through a range of activities including extracurricular activities and work experience.
  4. Remain open to learning after completing your degree. Your career will require you to continue to gain new skills and develop. Graduation is a key milestone but not the end of the journey!
Michael Bryce
Michael Bryce