Why UW ChemE? I chose UW ChemE because of the amazing research opportunities, the small, close-knit class cohort, and the fantastic resources for women and underrepresented minorities within the College of Engineering. As someone coming back to school after a career, I also wanted a degree that would give me an expanded 'tool box' for solving just about any problem.
What is one cool opportunity you've had as a ChemE? Being a founding member of Women in Chemical Engineering (WChE) has been a phenomenal experience. Through WChE, I helped establish a mentorship platform, which connected me with not only other undergraduates in ChemE, but also graduate students. which has been a defining factor of my continued success here at UW. The department staff and faculty have been wonderfully supportive as well. I feel incredibly fortunate to be an integral part of the ChemE program.
My advice to students considering ChemE: Chemical Engineering is an arduous and challenging major. Persistence and determination are key to independent success, but accessing all the incredible resources (like your professors and classmates!) are vital to maximizing your experience. In addition, the problem solving and process engineering skills you develop within the curriculum are applicable to almost any field--it is a great major whether you plan on going into industry or continuing onto grad school.
Since graduating in June 2017, I completed my Masters in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2019. West Michigan proved to be a great place to put down roots and raise my daughter, Guenevere, and I was fortunate enough to find my dream job as a Product Design Mechanical Engineer at Woodward Inc. My work focuses on design and support of fuel nozzle injection systems for gas turbine combustion engines, as well as extensive research and development on high temperature seal materials. In my job, I have the privilege of partnering with researchers at NASA and AFRL to develop advanced combustion technologies and each day brings new and unique challenges with lots of complex problem solving. My chemical engineering background proves to be incredibly beneficial, whether I am calculating properties of fuels, phase changes, mass transfer and fluid mechanics, liquid jet breakup, or basic thermodynamics for combustion systems. Outside of the office, I am an active Society of Women Engineers (SWE) professional member and mentor, where I work with students locally and across the country to support their engineering goals.
Last words: Don't be afraid to try new things and make your own path in ChemE. It is the kind of department that can provide the assistance wherever your goals and aspirations may take you--even if they are considered "untraditional." For example, I did rocket propulsion research within Electrical Engineering, Earth & Space Sciences, as well as the Aeronautics & Astronautics department, but my chemical engineering degree provided a fantastic foundation to be successful in any industry.