AIChE Election Candidates Answer: What is your best memory of being a Young Engineer?

4/5   in the series AIChE Election Candidates Q&A
Voting for the 2013 AIChE Board of Directors is underway at The Young Professionals Committee (YPC) asked potential members of AIChE's board a few questions about young professionals and AIChE. They were asked to answer up to three questions, so you won't see responses from every candidate for every question. As this series of posts progresses, you'll see their answers and get to know them better. Feel free to click visit the election page to learn more about the election process and each candidate. Let's get started with the fourth question. Answers are shown in alphabetical order by position and then candidate last name.

Jim Hill -- Running for the office of Secretary:

I actually had three careers. First was a post-doc in theoretical physics at NASA during the time of the lunar landings, second was a stint in the petrochemical industry as a research engineer, and third as a faculty member at Iowa State. All were interesting but I wanted the opportunity to help develop young engineers and researchers and to pursue my own research interests, so I settled on an academic career. The Clean Air Act had just been passed, and many young chemical engineers including myself found personally satisfying work doing research and engineering on air pollution control, both in industry and at the university. I got started with AIChE in my local section as a young faculty member and found the experience rewarding (many funny stories in car pools on the way to local section meetings) and then got involved with national programming in AIChE. I also joined several committees as well as divisions and forums over the years in order to keep current on AIChE's problems and progress, and I still enjoy my interactions with the committee members.

Christine Seymour -- Running for the office of the Secretary:

My best memory of being a Young Chemical Engineer is running my first batch in the plant - there is nothing like looking into the 1000 gal reactor for the first time and hoping all goes well (it did!).

Raymond Cocco -- Running for the office of Director:

My best memory of being a young chemical engineer was my first paper at the New York AIChE Annual Meeting. My PhD advisor and I spent many long nights preparing for this presentation. He helped me with the slides (they were transparencies back then) and the delivery. His coaching was invaluable. He taught me skills I am still thankful today. I gave a good talk and answered all the questions. I can remember being so nervous. I was a young engineer in front a room of experts. Yet, five minutes into the talk, the intimidation disappeared. These experts were not grading me, which is all I had known in school. They were actually interested in what I had to say. When the talk was done, I realized I was in the right place with my career. I do have to admit that in my talk I did greet the audience with a "good morning" in the middle of the afternoon. Something my advisor still has not forgotten.

L.S. Fan -- Running for the office of Director:

All the possibilities. It may feel difficult to make choices at the beginning, but when I look back, having unlimited possibilities allowed me to dream big. In chemical engineering, teamwork, and collaboration still stand as the foundation of our field. Sharing my dreams and experiences with fellow students and colleagues was also one of the most memorable throughout my early career. Fresh out of school, I recall the diversity of opportunities that allowed me to explore different fields, which ultimately shaped my lifelong passion for teaching and innovative research. Early in my career, these exciting prospects also provided me the time and opportunity to challenge myself and to connect my recently acquired academic fundamentals to real world technological applications. For all chemical engineers, these novel extensive choices inspire new ideas and innovative developments that will continue to establish the chemical engineering field as invigorating and revolutionary.

Annette Johnston -- Running for the office of Director:

The great sense of accomplishment upon finishing my first P&ID. I relished the surprise on the face of my supervisor when I handed it to him, and it did not need many corrections. I had done all of the process modeling, sizing, and even had the safety items already incorporated into the piping. Unfortunately, it was never built, because the project was cancelled. However, my confidence in identifying myself as a chemical engineer began with the completion of that P&ID.

Michael Poirier -- Running for the office of Director:

Being given the responsibility to lead a multimillion dollar filtration project. I traveled across the country to meet with vendors, worked on equipment designs, oversaw testing, and made recommendations for changes in the facility. Learn more about the candidates by reading their bios and then vote.