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Jessica Mitchell Biography

Jess was born in Kalgoorlie, and growing up in the Goldfields in a number of different mining towns first sparked an interest in the mining and processing industries, ultimately leading to her graduating from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering in 2003.

Following graduation she took a position at BP’s Kwinana Refinery as a process engineer, and initially worked across a variety of different technologies including distillation, treatments, catalytic reforming, hydroprocessing, catalytic cracking and HF alkylation at both the Kwinana refinery in WA, and BP’s Bulwer Refinery in QLD. After developing depth in various refining technologies she then returned to WA, and held a number of leadership roles including a shift based optimisation role and Process Safety Superintendent.

After ten years in Australia, Jess had the opportunity to move overseas and has recently returned from a four year secondment at BP’s Whiting refinery, just outside of Chicago, in the USA. While in the USA, she worked as the Operations Superintendent for a brand new 250,000 bpd crude distillation unit, designed to process Heavy Canadian Tar Sands. In this role she was a critical part of the refinery’s extended leadership team, and directly involved in bringing the new unit up to full production capacity. Jess led the operations team through the first three years of production, working through a number of design and infant mortality issues, ultimately reaching design rates in 2016.

Throughout her career Jess has always had a passion for maximising the capability of the front line workforce and developing people to their full potential, which has seen her return to Australia to continue her operations leadership at the Kwinana refinery.

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