Kristin Malosh

Kristin Malosh

EHS Director
Vallourec Star
Youngstown, OH, United States
Kristin Malosh
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Ever wonder what you can do with an environmental engineering degree? Me too! There are so many options- I know environmental engineers who own their own business, work for an airline, and even some who have become lawyers! I am an Environmental Health and Safety manager for a steel mill. I have an amazing job, work with amazing people and make a difference each and every day. Engineering opens more doors than you can imagine.
  • 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 Kristin Malosh

Hi Sujit. That's a tough question!
You can apply your engineering skills in any career you choose! I know environmental engineers who are lawyers, work for the USEPA, own their own consultanting company and work in manufacturing- so many choices. Your next step depends on what your current interests look like. Do you like design work? If so, a consultant position might be great for you. Do you find manufacturing processes fascinating? If so, you may want to look at more of a compliance related position in an industrial setting. I started in a consulting company and I found that I was able to work with both regulators and manufacturers. I gained experience with a variety of industries and was able to decide what path to take next. This may be a good option for you if you are undecided on what truly interests you. I hope this helps. Best of luck! -Kristin

Hi Leslie. What a great question!
I am currently working as an Environmental Director at a steel mill. My day-to-day routine changes all of the time. Change is definitely something you have to be able to embrace if your career takes you into a manufacturing environment. It isn't all about being in the office looking at a computer either! I put on my steel toe boots and my hard hat and head out into the operations areas as much as I can. That is where you really get to use your problem-solving skills and put your engineer brain to work. Other paths for an environmental engineer could be as a consultant or working for an agency. Both of these options have a decent amount of work in an office but also field work. I hope this helps answer your question. Best of luck to you!  -Kristin

Hi Michelle. Well, most of the engineers that I know are well-rounded in their interests, meaning that not all of us LOVE math and science.  However, the classes that you need to successfully conquer in pursuing an engineering degree can be daunting if you truly despise math/science. So, to answer your question, yes, I do know many engineers that have a tendency towards social sciences and the arts. However, the path of an actual engineering degree could be really difficult for someone who doesn't have any aptitude towards math/science. I would say that it depends on your level of "challenge" as you stated. I certainly didn't love Calculus, by the time I got to Calc 4, I was just hoping to make it through and not kill my GPA. Engineers are inherently problem solvers- that's what you need to LOVE about being an engineer. Sometimes you need math to solve a problem, but more often than not, you will use a combination of all your skills and not only rely on math.  I hope this helps put things in perspective for you!  Good luck in your adventure. ~Kristin   

Hi Aleena- it's not a stupid question!
If you think you are interested in environmental engineering then you probably like math and science. Most engineering schools have an environmental engineering program, sometimes it is associated with the Civil Engineering program and sometimes it is associated with the Agricultural Engineering program. Classes that you would take for an Environmental Engineering degree would include wastewater design and treatment systems, landfill design, air pollution control, for example.  While still in high school, take as much math and science as you can- if you can add an advanced Biology or Physics or Math class- do it! When you are looking for colleges, be sure to look specifically at the engineering school to see if they highlight a specific environmental program.  Good luck!  ~Kristin  

Hi Leslie. I'm going to assume you are asking about design projects while in college. I worked on two major projects in my environmental engineering degree courses. One was designing a bio-filter for a swine farm. It was really difficult to try and make pigs smell good!  The second project I worked on as my senior design project was a water chilling/recycling system for a tart cherry farm in northern Michigan.  The best part about that project is that the farm actually used what we designed! It saved them money in the long run as they were able to produce a higher quality product. ~Kristin

Hi Katherine! I can give you a few examples of the types of careers that I personally know Environmental Engineers may have, in no particular order:  President/Owner of an Environmental/Civil Engineering Consulting company; Director of Environmental, Health & Safety at a steel manufacturing company; Permit Writer/Inspector working for the USEPA or state agency.  There are several websites that post specific jobs for Environmental careers, one that I would suggest you look at is: 
There you can find several real job postings for Environmental Engineers, this may help you see what a career could entail.  I hope this information helps you. Good luck!  ~Kristin  

Hi Romana, Go Green! Nice to hear from a fellow- Spartan :-)
This isn't an easy question to answer, but I will give it my best shot! I think this all depends on why or what parts of mathematical problem solving you don't enjoy. Engineers aren't math majors, to me, math majors are the ones who truly LOVE math. Engineers are problem solvers and we use math as a tool to solve a variety of problems. I can honestly say that I enjoyed using math in statics, statistics, and thermodynamics- all engineering classes. When it came to differential equations- a true MATH course- I was just trying to make it through and not kill my GPA! With your interest in mechanical and environmental applications, Biosystems Engineering could definitely be a great path for you. I have worked with a lot of environmental science majors in my career as well as engineers. An engineering degree can be a positive factor in getting a higher salary or considerations for promotions (especially if you have a Professional Engineer certification in the long run). So, to summarize, if you truly dislike using math or its concepts to solve problems- then engineering might not be the right choice. But, if you just don't like the 'theory based' math- I say struggle through it, use study groups and office hours and celebrate your accomplishments- and go for engineering. An engineering degree can open more doors than you can imagine! 
Say hi to Sparty for me! 

Hi Jenna! Thanks so much for reaching out to a fellow Pittsburgh-er!  It sounds like you have a lot of the key interests to be successful as an engineer. As we say, math and science interests are core to an engineer's education. However, as to your question about what type of engineering- sounds like you could be interested in environmental, agricultural or several other options. I studied in an environmental engineering program that was through the agricultural department. My senior design project was building a bio filter to try and minimize the odor emissions from a swine farm, that was a challenging project to say the least. I also worked on a water recycling and chiller system for a tart cherry farm in northern Michigan. Many other types of engineers can work outside as well, for example mechanical or civil engineers who work on construction projects often spend a lot of time in the field. We all have our fair share of office work too. I hope my answer helps. Good luck and Go Steelers!

Shamma, All engineering disciplines require studying the fundamentals of engineering, which includes mechanics and electronics. However, these are not the focus of an environmental engineering degree. I found that classes like Statics and Electrical Engineering were fun because there were so many different engineering majors all in the same class. The salary for Environmental Engineers is not typically on the high end of the salary range, but I would definitely say it is good enough. Many environmental engineers do obtain a Professional Engineering (PE) license. Depending upon what type of job you are interested, a PE license may be a benefit. I started my career as an environmental consultant and used my PE license to enhance my credentials. For example, some state environmental regulations require a PE to certify contingency plans for industrial facilities. I know environmental engineers in a variety of careers – you could work for the US EPA, you could own your own environmental consulting business, you could be an environmental manager at an airline, or an operations manager at a steel mill. The doors are open for Environmental Engineers! I hope this helps- good luck! Kristin

Nourhan, Environmental Engineering and Engineering Sciences both sound like excellent programs. In order to choose between the two, I suggest researching what types of jobs graduates with these two majors hold and see what interests you. Whatever your engineering discipline, you can apply your degree in several different fields. For example, I am an environmental engineer and I work as a Project Manager for a consulting firm. I assist all different kinds of industries with obtaining environmental permits and applying the environmental regulations that may affect their industry. Other environmental engineers I know are environmental lawyers, business owners, or work for large chemical manufacturing plants. In response to your second question, there are a variety of possible degrees that could lead you to Green Building design. Certainly architects and environmental engineers could work in that industry, but there are several other disciplines that could be involved as well. For example, civil engineers could research more environmentally-friendly building materials and chemical engineers could research a new chemical that could be applied to that building material to make it even more energy efficient. A degree in engineering can be applied in a variety of ways, depending upon your interest! Good luck!

Dear Melissa, It is never to late to become an engineer! I encourage you to pursue your interest and explore what options are available to you. Your strong skills in math will certainly support your pursuit of an engineering degree. I wouldn't let chemistry hold you back. First, consider contacting the engineering department at your current school- to review how many of your undergraduate classes would count towards a BS in Civil Engineering. Most likely, you have taken a good portion of the first/second year requirements already and another 4 years would not be necessary. Secondly, graduate programs in engineering often have students from other disciplines. However, given your background in Geography, there may be some undergraduate classes that would be required in order to transition into a Civil Engineering graduate program. It is hard to recommend which path to take, without knowing more about your specific situation. I can offer a few pieces of advice during your decision making: 1) Make a Pro/Con list, actually write them down- it is amazing how easy some decisions are when you see it on paper! 2) Choose an engineering program with a good intern/co-op program to gain some real-world experience while you finish your degree. 3) If financial support is a major decision-maker, investigate potential scholarships through organizations (e.g. Society of Women Engineers). Good luck to you! Kristin Malosh, P.E.