Christine F.

Christine F.

Title
Ops Engineer
Location
TX, United States
Christine F.
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Biography

My name is Christine and I am a Chemical Engineer. Being an engineer has allowed me to live in all across the country. I have worked with glass, industrial gases, and pipeline systems.

Education
BS in Chemical Engineering
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
Answers by Christine F.

Hello Tameez, thank you for writing in. Chemical Engineering is alive and well and more important than ever in today's world. Chemical Engineering is applied in Oil & Gas, Chemicals Manufacturing, Food Processing, Medicine, and Automobile Design to name a few. In fact the need for Chemical Engineers is so high that some employers offer incentives just for those holding a degree in it.  

Many Chemical Engineering programs (especially in the US) sprang up around industry - so you may tend to see a larger concentration in one geographical area vs. another. Due to its vast nature and field of application Chemical Engineering has given birth to other engineering subsets that are now their own stand alone programs - e.g. Environmental (combo of Chemical and Civil); Biomedical (combo of Mechanical and Chemical); Biochemical, Petroleum, Pharmaceutical, and the list goes on and on.  Some universities have opted to offer only the four core Engineering fields (ChemE, EE, CivE, and ME) and allow their students to choose concentrations with electives.  Other schools offer a broader range of programs.   Chemical Engineers often work as Process Engineers and many shift into other roles over their careers in part due to the doors opened up by having a foundation in Chemical Engineering. 

If Chemical Engineering is something you are truly interested in pursuing or knowing more about consider contacting some of the professional organizations such as American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). They can connect you with a local chapter where you can find out more about opportunities in your area and perhaps even offer some mentoring.  It's a great profession and it's great time to be a Chemical Engineer. 

Hi Rayhana! Congratulations on both of your achievements you should be very proud.  Making decisions like this is very personal. When I was a senior I faced a similar decision. A professor I trusted suggested that I go work for a few years to be able to really understand and experience what I had just spent the past 4 years studying and to help me narrow my focus if I did return to school later.  I can say that I have not gone back to school and have been very successful with just my Bachelors. Everyone will have a different career path and for me it took going into the workforce to truly discover what I was passionate about and where I wanted to focus my career.  Engineering in the classroom is often very different from engineering in the workplace. You may or may not be performing rigorous calculations – often you are putting together simple solutions to address a need or working to make something perform just a little bit better than it had been. There are lots of things to learn from books; however, I have found that hands on experience and interaction with end users to be invaluable.  Management Training programs are an excellent way to get to know a company and gain exposure to many types of positions in a safe and structured environment – companies are investing in you to become their leaders of tomorrow.  If you choose the work route you will also have the potential advantage of your employer picking up some or all of your costs to get your masters. In terms of taking a break and ease of jumping back all I can say is: If you are determined, you will succeed.  Will it be different? Yes. Will it be more stressful? Probably. Will you succeed? Absolutely, if you are determined.  As you make your decision consult others (who have your best interest at heart), weigh the advice you’ve been given and trust your gut. Don’t be fearful and take comfort in knowing there is no wrong choice here. You can and will be successful whichever avenue you choose at this fork in the road.