Thursday, 11 June 2020

ENGINEERING A PATH TO SUCCESS

Written by
Phola Kula, Process Engineer Biodx

Biodx’s Process Engineer talks the science of her dream job and contributing to combating COVID-19

At 26-years-old, process engineer, Phola Kula has made a habit of overachieving in life. After successfully completing her chemical engineering degree at the University of Johannesburg – one of the toughest degrees around – Phola found the perfect match at just 22 when she applied for a job at Biodx.  

Four years later, as Biodx’s Process Engineer, she’s an essential part of the company’s business and success, and she’s found her dream job to boot.   

“Yes, I’m one of ‘those’ people,” says Phola with an infectious smile. “I love my job, and it’s been such a privilege to be involved with Biodx. I’ve had the rare opportunity to learn from the ground up, starting with the basics of project planning, implementation and manufacturing. 

“A point of pride for me is being able to assist in the global front line of product development in Biodx’s quest to produce the world’s first 100% natural organic disinfectant. And the fact I’m making a real impact right now in the fight against COVID-19 with responsibility for manufacturing our current range of world-class disinfectants. It really doesn’t make sense that South African formulators, manufacturers and government are importing and buying old school toxic active ingredients when they have a far superior product from Biodx on their doorstep here in South Africa.”  

Finding the perfect chemistry 

Phola always had a particular passion for chemistry, choosing analytical chemistry initially and then moving towards engineering. As someone who has always been fascinated by the world of science, joining Biodx fitted her diverse skills and interests like a glove, as she gets to wear many hats in the process engineering space while growing in other directions too.  

“Although I mainly do process engineering work, I’m also involved in production and compliance to meet SABS standards,” explains Phola.  

“The best part of my job is that I’m constantly learning new things from my colleagues and even new suppliers, who share their knowledge with me. My knowledge base expands all the time and that’s what I look forward to each day. 

“And now, with Biodx encouraging me, I’ve also completed a PDBA (Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration) and enrolled for my Masters in Management.

Looking ahead 

Phola is a dreamer with big plans for the future, and as the world opens up new doors every day, learning remains her focus.  

“I believe that life is a continuous learning curve. You can never know everything, and it’s so important to grab every opportunity to master new things wherever you can,” she says.  

She adds, “I’m determined to learn as much as possible to better equip myself for business management. I look forward to one day being able to implement things and be instrumental in decision making.” 

For this young, dynamic up-and-comer, the hardhat is just the beginning. Phola Kula is definitely one to watch the headlines for, as she continues to engineer her way to the top.  

Published in Science and Education