David graduated with a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Madison, Wisconsin in 2002. After working in pharmaceutical validation and serving as the local AIChE Section House Chair in the Chicagoland area, he moved to Seattle, WA. Since then David has worked in distribution of specialty chemicals and water treatment while finishing a MBA program at Seattle University. While in Seattle, he began working with Alessandra Carreon, the current Puget Sound AIChE Chair. Currently, David is the Vice Chair of the PS AIChE section and helping support the planning of the second PS AIChE Conference on Sustainability and the Environment with Alessandra Carreon and Sarah Widder. Below is my recent interview with David:
Lowell: Where are you from?
David: I grew up in the Lincolnwood, IL, which is just north of Chicago. I now live in Seattle, WA which is great. Believe it or not it does not rain that much here, but it is cloudy a lot. The upsides are the mountains and the healthy life style.
Lowell: Where did you complete / are you completing your chemical engineering education?
David: I completed my ChE degree at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison. However, I began my college education at the University of Illinois in Chicago and after one year, I transferred to the University of Wisconsin (UW). While at UW I had spent a semester in Denmark studying.
Lowell: How long have you been a member of AIChE?
David: I became active member of AIChE after I graduated, and wish that I was involved as an undergrad. I joined because I was looking for a place for continuous learning.
Lowell: What company/institution do you work for?
David: I have worked in both engineering and business related projects thus far. These professional experiences, along with business classes and AIChE-related projects, have allowed me to explore the entrepreneurial and commercial side of chemical engineering. Most recently I completed internships at the University of Washington Center for Commercialization and at a water technology firm called HaloSource.
Lowell: Describe a recent challenge you managed, a notable achievement, or an obstacle you overcame at your job or in your work as an AIChE member?
David: The biggest hurdle I have overcome was moving to Seattle and following through on graduating from the MBA program that I started. Though my ChE undergrad degree was far more challenging academically, there was a great deal of direction and support. Moving to a new city with little direction and a new job while going to school presented several challenges. The strategy that helped me in overcoming those challenges was being able to take each one apart and dealing with them one at a time.
Lowell: What do you do to meet people in your field?
David: I look for ways to add value when working with people. That can come in any number of forms, but finding something that you're great at and that adds value to the situation will make you far more welcome at the table. Networking is more about what you can offer then what others have to offer you.
Lowell: Tell us a little bit about yourself... What is one of your hobbies? How do you spend your spare time? What's your favorite place to travel? Or anything else you'd like to share...
David: I love to travel, and hope to one day make it to China, India, and Iceland and enjoy going to concerts and watching movies in my free time. My favorite movies are Donny Darko, The Illusionist, and The Princes Bride....
Lowell: Where can readers ChEnect with you (other than ChEnected)?
David: I am happy to connect with any of the readers out there at http://www.linkedin.com/in/wishnick Feel free to message me!