Nelly Khmilkovska

Nelly Started a New Career with a Degree in Resource Recovery

Nelly Khmilkovska found her way to Sweden for studies at the Master Programme in Resource Recovery. Today she uses her knowledge as a consultant safety engineer for a Swedish company.

Why did you choose the Master Programme in Resource Recovery?

– The name Resource Recovery resonated with my interests in reducing consumption, re-using and creative up-cycling. After reading the description of the program I was convinced that the course would teach me about waste management as well as it would refresh my knowledge in engineering and equip me with solid technical know-how.

Why in Borås, Sweden?

– It was a coincidence that I ended up studying in Borås. I looked for master programmes in Sweden as I felt that this is the country where I should study. I found this programme and it happened to be offered in Borås.

Nelly Khmilkovska
From: England. Originally from Ukraine
Previously done: Bachelor studies in Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, degree in Bachelor in Civil Engineering. Tried other career options in photography, modelling and personal training in the UK.
About Borås: Calm, but lively atmosphere, perfect for finding that middle-ground between feeling safe and being stimulated.
About the University of Borås: Cosy – I always felt accepted and relaxed while studying in here. The facilities are made with thought of the students and the people working here are there for you. Supportive – whether I needed extra help with presentation skills or voice coaching, advice about career or just a simple advice from a lecturer, I always knew where to go and whom to ask. Modern – the university provides modern and stimulating environment that is there for you to use and help you in your journey to knowledge-enriching.

What is your experience of the study programme?

– It was a challenge as I had not been in a formal education for ten years, except for short courses that had nothing to do with heat and mass transfer. Good knowledge of physics and thermodynamics is important to grasp the content of the programme. On times I had to work extra to catch up. At the same time I had much fun learning totally new things like biotechnology and life cycle assessment.

How did you get through the programme?

– I socialised, worked hard and I asked question, many, many questions. It was a perfect time to be curious and to be involved. It does not mean you should stop being curious once you get a job, of course.

What did you like best about the programme?

– The teachers. We received fresh, mind-provoking lectures in world energy, mind-blowingly difficult but exciting knowledge about modeling of combustion processes and plenty of study visits where we met interesting people and got to learn about related industries in Sweden. Moreover, we had many guest-lecturers from all over the world.

What did you think about the class?

– The class was really dynamic. The first semester there where exchange students from France, Brasil and Cuba. Students following the full study programme came from Africa, India, Iran, Greece and Sweden. And I am educated in Ukraine and the UK. I felt it was a perfect environment for exchanging experience and learning from each other.

What was your final thesis project about?

– I did my final thesis project at Chalmers Technical University for Renova, an environmental company in waste management and recycling, in western Sweden. It was a year-long project about soil washing – a method to treat metal contaminated sites. Together with my supervisor I developed a method to separate copper from contaminated soil with the aim at re-cycling the metal.

What do you work with now?

– Today I am a consultant safety engineer in DEKRA Industrial AB, a company working for increased safety in a variety of industries through independent inspection, testing and certification. My area is ATEX - which means explosive atmospheres.

How do your master studies come in use in your work?

– One thing I learned: you never know what knowledge you will need and when. In my current position I use what I have learned at the master studies every day, or rather what I have become as a person while doing my studies. The master courses taught me responsibility, time management and skills in dealing with people.

What is a work day like?

– As a consultant I work on different projects that can be short, one-month projects, or a few year-long projects. I am expected to have a lot of contact with clients. I travel a lot in Sweden and sometimes abroad. I manage my time, administrative tasks and the whole communication during the project myself. Some days I work in the office and do a lot of e-mail correspondence, some days I work with clients, visit factories or have meetings. Some days I work from home, calculating and writing reports.

What is the best about your job?

– It is the trusting and supportive environment. I manage my own time and I have flexibility. This is great!

Text: Solveig Klug
Photo: Jesper Löfman