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Karen Blanc awarded IChemE fellowship

Congratulations to Karen Blanc, an engineering manager, on being awarded a fellowship by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Karen is currently the group lead for the process and facilities team in Aberdeen, and the professional head of discipline for process engineering across the UK Oil & Gas and Nuclear & Power businesses. Alongside her technical role, Karen is passionate about staff development, engagement, and sharing of best practices. She just came back from her second maternity leave in November, with Graham Filsell covering her role while she was off for six months.

Her Career
Karen grew up next to Dounreay, so always knew she’d work in the energy industry. Her career began in renewables and nuclear decommissioning, before she moved into the oil and gas sector. Her first boss was Craig Edgar, who sent Karen on secondment to do three months of emissions testing at a sewage sludge drying facility. Needless to say, she considered leaving! But Karen stayed, and has since enjoyed many benefits to being in the energy industry. It has allowed her to travel and see the world, and thus far she’s lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Ho Chi Minh City and Esbjerg.

When asked about the high points in her career, Karen said:
“Highlights of my career include cowriting and guest lecturing a Masters module at Edinburgh University, and mentoring and empowering many brilliant people to help them realise their potential.”

The Fellowship
Karen is passionate about developing others, and it is for these efforts that the IChemE has awarded her a fellowship. Working alongside colleague Elaine Campbell, the duo have recently established the WISE (Women Into Science and Engineering) Hub in Aberdeen, with a view to inspire and support women into brilliantly rewarding STEM careers. Karen also sits on the committee for the Aberdeen-based AXIS Network group, an internal initiative which is focussed on driving success in our business through achieving a gender balance in the workplace. 

On receiving the IChemE fellowship, Karen says:
“To be recognised for my work in supporting the development of the profession is an incredible achievement. I’ve found what I love doing, and I’m delighted that others are happy for me to keep doing it!”