Billy Novak is our Featured YP for the month of October, 2010. Billy has been involved with helping young professionals for about 5 years now. At Shaw, he works as a process engineer and the Global E&C President of the Young Engineer and Professional Society. Previously, he was a production engineer at Dow and was on the steering team for their New Professional Network. His involvement with AIChE dates back to college, where he was a member of the LSU Chapter of AIChE and started going to the regional conferences in his Sophomore year. Billy was elected student chapter president in his senior year, at which time he joined the national (and local Baton Rouge) chapter, went to his first national AIChE conference, and volunteered at the New Orleans conference in the Spring. Then he took a few years off from being an actively involved member due to moving, getting married, and building a home. He's been an active member of the Young Professional Advisory Board for a few years on the national level and a Baton Rouge chapter committee member for two years, and currently, the Vice-Chairman. Below is my recent interview with Billy:
Lowell: Where are you from?
Billy: Baton Rouge, LA
Lowell: Where did you complete / are you completing your chemical engineering education?
Billy: Louisiana State University. I'm back at LSU working part-time on my MBA.
Lowell: How long have you been a member of AIChE?
Billy: About 10 years
Lowell: What company/institution do you work for?
Billy: The Shaw Group - Energy and Chemicals Division - Process Engineering
Lowell: Describe a recent challenge you managed, notable achievement, or obstacle you overcame at your job or in your work as an AIChE member?
Billy: The most difficult challenge I face almost every day is how to budget my time. It seems like something so easy, but with family, work, school, volunteer activities, studying for PE, and hobbies, it's a constant challenge.
Lowell: What do you do to meet people in your field?
Billy: First and foremost,staying involved with AIChE. My job as well as my wife's job allows us to get out to different plants in the area and meet new people in our industry on a fairly regular basis. Also, we've both lived in Baton Rouge the majority of our lives, so we have a very large network of classmates, family, friends, etc., that all work in the chemical industry.
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...
Billy: I try to make it to as many LSU football, baseball, and Saints games as possible. Aside from watching sports, my three main hobbies are playing soccer, riding motocross, and wakeboarding.