Hannah Noll

Hannah M. Noll

Process Engineer
NC, United States
Hannah Noll
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Hey there! My name's Hannah! I graduated from the Missouri University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor's of Science in Metallurgical Engineering. Since graduating in 2010, I've worked for a company called ATI that makes titanium, nickel, and specialty steels for end markets like aerospace, medical, and oil and gas. I wear a hard hat and steel-toe boots almost every day. My job responsibilities include designing and qualifying new metal making/forming processes and helping to standardize processes while reducing costs. My job requires me to use problem solving skills in quick-fix situations as well as long, highly technical experiments. I love being able to apply my engineering education in a hands-on manner that really affects what we make and how we make it.
  • 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.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Hannah M. Noll

I loved going to school in Rolla! It is a small town in the middle of Missouri, but St. Louis and Columbia are both close enough for a day trip. If you go to Rolla for school, don't expect to get a job in Rolla. The town is very small and there aren't many local opportunities for a person with a masters in electrical engineering. HOWEVER! They have a great career opportunities center, and the career fairs have sometimes 200+ companies looking for engineers!  You just have to be willing to move around the country. I cannot speak for electrical engineering, but everyone in my department (metallurgical engineering) who graduated with me got jobs upon graduating. I would say the school is very good at placing students in jobs/careers after graduation. I hope you enjoy your time there!

I’m so glad to hear you are interested in metallurgy!  There is a lot of research happening right now using nanomaterials to help cure all kinds of diseases, I’m sure it’s an exciting time to be in that line of work and research.  I would definitely recommend a materials science undergraduate program.  There was a professor at the college I went to (Missouri S&T) that studied the use of nanomaterials for fighting cancer and his field of research was ceramics.  However, metallic glass is becoming a more prominent field of study that I believe could eventually be used to help cure diseases in the human body, but I am not so familiar with them.  I would definitely recommend starting with materials science as your undergraduate program of study; you’ll get exposure to all kinds of different materials (ceramics, polymers, and metals) which should help you choose an area to specialize in that better fits your overall goal of nanomaterials as medication.  I also recommend taking classes that interest you, so if metals-centric classes sound fascinating, take those as well!

That's awesome that you are interested in engineering!  The obvious way to combine art and engineering is through architectural or civil engineering.  Both of those disciplines design buildings and structures that usually have to be somewhat aesthetically appealing and your background in art would fit in very well in either of those.  But the field of engineering is so diverse that art can fit in almost anywhere!
The most important thing that you probably have that a lot of engineers might lack is creativity.  Engineers can be taught to collect and analyze data, but when it comes down to the actual problem solving part, that usually requires creativity and a different perspective.  Especially in well-established industries, a lot of major problems have already been solved and now the focus is on improvement, so all the obvious, low-hanging fruit is gone.  I would assume the kind of thinking and problem solving you do with your art work is very different than what most engineers do, so, in my opinion, your artist’s perspective would be very valuable when it comes to solving any problems.

A couple side notes that you may not know about:  ASM International hosts a microstructure art competition in which people submit photos taken with a microscope.  Also, there are other fields like industrial design or human-machine interfaces that might interest you that also combine art and engineering.

Let me start by first saying that any course of engineering is great for girls!  I picked metallurgical engineering, because it was something I knew nothing about and I love learning.  In fact there is still so much to learn about metallurgical engineering!!

In general, though, there are relatively fewer girls who study metallurgical engineering than other disciplines.  When I was in college there were about 4 or 5 other girls studying metallurgical engineering that graduated with me, and about 20 boys.  Although there is a lot of math, metallurgical engineering requires a good understanding of chemistry.

Most of the time, metallurgical engineers find jobs in maufacturing (steel mills or metals processing) or metallurgical labs (testing and forensics).  I love working in a manufacturing setting, there is plenty of engineering and lots of interaction with the operators/workers.  Not only does this allow me to exercise my engineering knowledge but it also allows me to develope my interpersonal skills and leadership techniques, both of which I think girls are inherently good at.  Therefore, I think metallurgical engineering is a great choice for girls!

I’ll start by listing several engineering disciplines you’ve probably heard of that might include drawing: civil, architectural, and mechanical.  

In civil or architectural engineering, you might design and make drawings of buildings or road systems and bridges.  Depending on your focus in mechanical engineering you might design and draw parts for engines, structural parts for aircraft, or even entire pieces of machinery.  However, there are several colleges that offer a degree in Industrial Design. 

An industrial designer would design the product/user interface, for example: what and ipod looks like and how the user interacts with it, or the colors, shape, and styling of a washing machine.  While an industrial designer will work mostly with the aesthetic and user-interface aspects of the product, a design engineer (which can either be an actual major or a focus under majors like mechanical engineering or interdisciplinary engineering) works mainly with the functionality, however, both of these fields can overlap significantly and one person might do both!  Although industrial design doesn’t have “engineer” in the title, engineering problem solving is used and a background in engineering would be very helpful.  I recommend looking into industrial design or engineering design if drawing and engineering are the two things you’re most interested in.