Sara DaSilva

Current Position: Black Belt Project Manager at Univar, Inc.

Hi! My name is Sara and I am a chemical engineer. I work in the chemical manufacturing industry. The company I work for is named Praxair, and we make and deliver industrial gases, many of which come from the air we all breathe: oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and other rare gases. We sell these gases to companies that do all kinds of things.

Hospitals use our oxygen to keep patients alive and help with surgeries. Food companies use nitrogen to flash freeze products like chicken nuggets and hamburgers before they're shipped to stores and restaurants.

We not only separate the air into nitrogen, oxygen, and argon – we also deliver those products via big trucks. In my job every day I mostly work on ways to make the delivery process more efficient, to make it cost the company less money. I come up with ways to drive fewer miles, to deliver more product at a time, and to lose less product due to leaks.

I work at my house most of the time, and sometimes I travel to our manufacturing plants and customers. I spend my day on the computer and the phone, and I give a lot of presentations. I work with all kinds of people – truck drivers, managers, technicians in the plant, and executives, and I really like talking with so many different people every day. My job requires me to know statistics, engineering, and finance, but it's most important that I know how to communicate well with lots of people and sell them on cost-saving ideas.

One thing I've been really encouraged by in the past few years is the growing number of women engineers in my company that I've been able to work with and meet. We get together to have dinner, go shopping, talk about work, and just be supportive of each other. Women engineers are really smart and most of them bring something awesome to the workplace: great communication! Someday I may get to work with someone reading this website, and I'm looking forward to that!