This is an installment of Alumni Spotlight, a series that showcases a PSWE alumnus and her experiences. Today, we talked to Stevie Kennedy who majored in chemical engineering at Purdue and now works at Air Liquide.
“1. Where do you work, and for how long have you worked there?
I work for Air Liquide, Large Industries. I’ve been with Air Liquide 3.5 years now. I started in the ALLEX program where every 6 months for 2 years I rotated locations and positions to get to know the company and to see where I would like to end up in my final placement with the company. I’ve been the plant engineer at our Nederland Texas Air Separation Unit on the Gulf Coast Pipeline for a year and half.
2. What did you major in at Purdue, and why?
I majored in Chemical Engineering because I love chemistry, but I was swayed by family members to do engineering. Engineers are able to see a problem from start to finish, apply it, and put solutions into action!
3. Why did you join PSWE?
I joined PSWE to be more involved, meet people, and start a network at Purdue and beyond. SWE also helped with (and still does) help with professional development too, which was so useful for me at Purdue.
4. What do you like and dislike about your job?
I like the unknown of the job! Being at an older plant, every day is so different, you don’t know what to expect. Of course you perform preventative and predictive maintenance, but every problem that comes up is a unique challenge and opportunity for me to learn even more about the technology that I’m working with. I dislike the fact that I am the only female at my site (~18 people), but I get along with everyone well. I have joined our Women’s Initiative Network as the Operations Chair to bring more operations personnel (females and female advocates) into the network for more ideas and opportunities to keep us females in the field still involved with the on-goings of the Air Liquide hub in Houston.
5. How do you balance your work and personal life?
I make an effort to join groups and stick with their events in the Golden Triangle area of Texas. It’s important to follow through and expand your network (personally and professionally) so I continuously look for ‘extracurricular’ opportunities to be involved in Air Liquide, the community, and my church. It can be hard at times when the plant trips or has a major unplanned maintenance item that keeps you at the plant for a very long day(s) or late into the night. Everyone’s very flexible here and we try to rotate personnel so that people get their time off that they want/need. Everyone’s all in it together though when something happens, which makes the team here so great – it feels like a big family. We take advantage of quiet moments when the plant is running well because we know that there will be a time later where all hands must be on deck to see something through. I always try to prioritize my day and week too. Some things can wait for tomorrow and somethings can not. Sometimes it gets hard to distinguish that, but it’s important to remember that some things really can wait so you can take time for yourself.”
-Subhiksha, your editor