Welcome to the fourth day of our chemistry careers series in celebration of National Chemistry Week! Sarah Ramirtha is a Chemical Engineer with a fascinating role at BASF Corporation. We are excited to take a look inside her job and day-to-day activities. Thank you for joining us, Sarah!

Other careers in this series:


Why did you pursue a career in chemistry?

My 11th grade Chemistry teacher was the reason I pursued a career in chemistry. She really made me interested in the subject and showed us how we could use chemistry in the real world.

What does your job entail?

My job entails reviewing equipment and determining why they are failing and what we can do to improve them to ensure that we meet production needs.

What aspect of your job do you find most interesting?

What I find most interesting is understanding how the process of chemistry affects how our equipment operates.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day starts off with going to the morning maintenance meeting to get an understanding of what work is going on that day. That is followed by the morning production meeting to see how the plant is operating, what are our constraints are and how we are going to better optimize the plant.

Tell us about a cool project that you’re working on.

I am currently working on implementing a new software that will allow us to analyze process data via statistical analysis as an early warning indication of defects in our equipment. The basic premise is that typically our process is operating within a certain level, and by honing in on when parameters drastically deviate from that normal we will be able to detect equipment failures quicker.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is the ambiguity. You never know what your day is going to hold as you may be asked to help trouble shoot a pump that is not working properly or go to a vendor to see a compressor rebuild. It’s very dynamic.

How does your career allow you to give back to your community and society?

BASF really supports us being active in the community. Our thought is, “Our community members give us the right to operate, so how can we give back in a meaningful way?”

What would you say to a student considering a career path in chemistry?

Do it! There are so many opportunities that will become available to you by studying chemistry. If you are interested in further education, chemistry gives you a foundation for both industry and higher education.