Charlene Wall-Warren’s First Job

Charlene Wall-Warren
Sustainability Manager - North America, BASF

Her First Job

My first job after leaving college was as a project engineer in a historical coatings and dyes facility. As a new project engineer, I had the pleasure and challenge of implementing automated systems in a batch processing facility, for which little automation existed. This helped me to develop both technical as well as people skills, since I had to work with operations personnel to ensure that systems were properly installed to enable their work to be easier, safer, and more efficient. Both of these skill sets are key for a successful career, whether you work in a manufacturing, business, or other environment!

Her Career Since Then

Currently I have the pleasure of leading sustainability programs for BASF in North America. My role includes identifying new opportunities to communicate and apply BASF's sustainability management systems, measurement tools and product innovations. Prior to this I led a company-wide team pursuing opportunities for packaging technologies with environmental and economic benefits, as well as enhanced shelf-appeal. In 2001 I launched BASF's North American Eco-efficiency Analysis program, bringing sustainability measurement and optimization tools to BASF businesses and customers in this region.

It's a great pleasure to serve on the Board of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and from 2006 to 2008 I served as the Inaugural Chair for AIChE's Center for Sustainable Technology Practices. I spent the first ten years of my career as a process and project engineer, designing BASF's manufacturing facilities after graduating in 1992 with a B.S.Ch.E. from Drexel University.

Advice for Young Engineers

Chemical engineering is a great profession that can lead you down many paths. With the basic training you can work in fields ranging from manufacturing, process design, marketing and sales, environmental health and safety to new fields such as life-cycle assessment for sustainability attributes. You can also can work in many different industries, including chemicals, oil and gas, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products. In addition to your technical skills, take advantage of opportunities to develop your other skills, such communication, business, interpersonal, leadership skills. And always look for new opportunities to learn, contribute, and grow!

What was your very first job? And your first engineering job?

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Douglas Clark's picture

We thought it would be interesting and useful for readers to hear about the paths others have taken. Glad you like it!

Elton Amirkhas's picture

Very nice story and very encouraging :)

sonali.u.malagimani's picture

I have completed my B.E in chemical branch.As am fresher of 2011 batch