Where are you from? Tampa, FL What school do you go to? What year are you? University of South Florida, senior Do you hold any positions in your AIChE chapter or with AIChE nationally? I am the EXPO Chair for the USF chapter. Describe an event in your chapter that you are most proud to have been involved with. I am most proud to have represented the AIChE Safety Tent for the 2013 Engineering EXPO at USF. I dressed up in a fun spray-painted Tyvek suit with a glucose molecule hard hat, and enjoyed watching thousands of K-12 students have fun while learning! What are your plans after graduation? In what field are you most interested in having an impact? After graduation, I want to start a career in the field of process safety. How do you blow off steam and keep your sanity between classes, homework and projects? I make sure to spend some time every day doing something that will take my mind away from school. Some of the most common things I do are play fetch with my cat, paint my nails, watch a movie, or go for a walk or run. It may not seem like much, but just a little bit of fun time keeps the stress levels low. Which of your undergraduate classes have you most enjoyed? I really enjoyed the Chemical Process Safety Engineering course. I loved the content of the course, and I was able to learn how to use FDS and PyroSim. For the semester project, I modeled the gas station that I was working at and demonstrated whether or not a flammable region of gasoline vapors was created while pumping gas. I loved it so much, and through the class I was able to obtain a dream internship and learn what I wanted to focus on for my career. It was definitely my favorite class and the most rewarding class I've taken. How did you decide to pursue a degree in ChE? I was interested in engineering all throughout high school, but I didn't narrow it down to chemical engineering until my senior year. While trying to determine which major would be best for me, I came across an article about chemical engineers who were working on making plastics that conduct electricity as well as metals. I was fascinated by the article and researched more into what chemical engineers can do. It seemed that I could go anywhere and do anything with chemical engineering, and it was the most interesting, so I decided to stick with it as my major. What is the best kept secret on your campus? There is a smokehouse on campus that sells amazingly delicious ribs for really cheap. I don't think many people know about it. Even during lunch time there is no line.
What are you most looking forward to after graduation? I am most looking forward to being able to show all of my siblings that doing well in school and working hard pays off. I hope seeing me graduate and start a career will motivate them to want to go to college as well. As for something tangible, I will say I am looking forward to finally getting my first vehicle. Life will be much more convenient with a vehicle.
What will you be most saddened to leave behind at school when you move on? I am going to miss all of the perks that USF has available for students, especially the rec center and all it offers. The rec center alone is amazing, equipped with machines I didn't know existed, an indoor track, group fitness classes, and much more. Also, the rec center has canoe and kayak rentals. I love being able to go down the river in a kayak, seeing all of the alligators and turtles, and I know I will miss doing this after I graduate. What is the most unexpected thing you have been asked in an interview? I was asked if I was available to start that Friday. Perhaps the question alone doesn't sound unexpected, but it was the first question of the interview. I was expecting to have an actual interview before being asked to just start working. Do you have any advice to incoming students and underclassmen ChEs around the world? Don't give up! Classes and life may be overwhelming at times, but all of the hard work and effort will pay off. Just be confident in yourself, do your best, and stay positive! What's your first thought when you wake up in the morning? My first thoughts are usually directed toward my cat. They tend to be along the lines of, "Trixie, stop meowing. Please don't attack my feet. Why are you knocking things over? Ok, fine, I will get up and play with you." If your initials (first/last or first/middle/last) stood for something other than your name, what would it be? Blissful Notable Female How would you like to be involved with AIChE after graduation? I want to continue going to the annual conferences, as well as get involved in my local professional chapter, wherever I may be. You can contact Brittany through her LinkedIn page.