Canadian Plastics: Plastics industry profile: Nova Chemicals’ Bobbi Liebrecht
by Canadian Plastics
Liebrecht started at Nova as a process engineer supporting operations and design implementation of facility changes – and was involved in some key decisions.
Canada’s chemicals and plastics sectors are changing pretty rapidly these days – single-use product bans, “toxic” designations, new work-from-home policies, and more – but a few of the older traditions are still in place. Like remaining at one company, for instance, and working your way up.
A classic example is Bobbi Liebrecht, currently the manufacturing West leader of process and technology with Calgary-based Nova Chemicals Corp. A 1999 graduate of the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Liebrecht was recruited by Nova through the university’s career centre. “Through the interviews and site tours, I was struck by Nova’s ‘Responsible Care’ strategy, the cleanliness of the facilities, and the wide range of opportunities for engineers at one of the largest ethylene and polyethylene [PE] manufacturing sites in the world,” she said.
MOVING ON UP
Liebrecht started at Nova as a process engineer supporting operations and design implementation of facility changes – and was involved in some big decisions right out of the gate. “I was part of a technical team that commissioned, started up, and optimized a new PE plant built during Nova’s 2000 expansion of its manufacturing facility in Joffre, Alberta,” she said. “I spent 13 years in various engineering and technical roles on the site before moving into my first leadership role as a team leader for process engineering for olefins, utilities, and pipeline; and I then worked in operations, business integration, and engineering management, and was appointed to my current role as a site leader for process and technology in December 2020.”