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Paul Stephenson

Paul Stevenson, Aurecon

Paul Stephenson is Aurecon's Design Director – Manufacturing. He is a chemical engineer who has over 35 years of experience in the design and management of projects in the dairy, food, minerals, forestry and pharmaceutical industries.

Paul has worked for multinational companies such as Monsanto and was a founding director of a medium-sized consulting engineering practice for over 20 years. He has particular interests in the development of new processes and the management of projects through pilot trials to full scale implementation.

Proudest moment in your career?

Working with the project team to successfully commission the Inhaler Grade Lactose plant for Fonterra Co-operative Group, knowing that this plant would be only one of two in the world to manufacture US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approved inhaler grade lactose for use by asthmatics.

Your most challenging project? And Why?

The PDV Refinery Upgrade Project for Dominion Salt Ltd at Mount Maunganui had its share of challenges – the first was how to increase salt production by 50 percent without using any more energy in a process that uses steam to evaporate water from brine! Driving down the unit cost of production was vital to the profitability of this project. Then there was selecting the right materials of construction for the higher temperature and pressure operation and keeping the existing plant operational during the construction phase to meet full capacity production targets. We came out of it all with a happy client thanks to a great team effort!

Keys to a successful project delivery?

Successful project delivery is all about having the right project budget, the right people and resources to do the work, regular client communication and matching engineering effort to risk and the importance of each project task.

One of the great challenges facing the manufacturing industry is...

Our manufacturing clients have an ever increasing need to maintain product price competitiveness in an environmentally sustainable way. Our contribution in developing project solutions that efficiently utilise raw materials and energy sources can make a difference to their bottom line profit and society's perception of their company as a good corporate citizen.

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