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Adwa, taking care of efficiency, safety and environment


As a Process Engineer for Furnaces & Combustion at SATORP’s Jubail Refinery for over a year, Adwa is making sure that the refinery’s fired heaters run safely and at maximum efficiency. This is quite a responsibility for the first Saudi female engineer in the field at Jubail.

The Passion for Chemical Engineering

Adwa started out studying pharmacy, before taking what she calls “a very risky step” by following her real passion and going to Australia to study chemical engineering. She was later accepted to the SATORP graduate development program, which is ultimately leading to a Masters Degree in engineering at the prestigious French Petroleum & New Energies Institute (IFPEN). Still undergoing the program with IFPEN while working at the SATORP Refinery, Adwa explains that “it is a very good opportunity to widen my knowledge in refining and petrochemicals and be granted a degree from such a highly recognized institute”.

A Responsible job at the SATORP Refinery

Fired heaters are furnaces in which the heat is generated to get specific materials/supply up to the required reaction temperatures for the separation of products. They are numerous in a refinery and are one of the most critical pieces of equipment. As a furnaces and combustion engineer, Adwa’s job is to “make sure that they are running at maximum safety and efficiency and minimum environmental impact”. Indeed, there is a major safety aspect to ensuring that the heaters are running at vacuum at all times to keep the furnace, personnel and surroundings in a safe condition and operationally efficient. There is also an environmental responsibility, which is why heaters’ emissions are monitored continuously to respect environmental regulations. Finally, running a fired heater at maximum efficiency also means that less fuel is burnt and so money is saved. These considerations offer extra day-to-day motivation for Adwa who says that “it keeps you from focusing on only one aspect and forgetting the others. You are constantly reminded that it is not only about operations.”

Setting an Example

Being the first Saudi female on the field is also another kind of responsibility for Adwa, who wants to prove to the industry and to society that “women are productive and professional members of the workforce”. She says that she was “overwhelmed by how much SATORP wanted to support women as passionate as her”. But Adwa would like to do even more and maybe, in the future, mentor other women, go to schools and make girls aware of what chemical engineering has to offer. It could perhaps spark new passions and encourage those who might like to follow her groundbreaking career path.




“Safety is not just a priority, it’s a given. It’s a motivation to work every day taking care not only of safety but also environment and efficiency.”

Short Resume


2014 to Present

Process Engineer, Furnaces & Combustion – SATORP Refinery, Jubail Saudi Arabia. IFP Training - Graduate Diploma in Petroleum Studies – Major in Refining and Petrochemicals.



Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) - RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.