CDP Class of 2005 – 2008
University of Delaware
PhD Material Science
This photo was taken at the company’s world headquarters during my first CDP assignment.
Who would have guessed I’d end up working at a manufacturing facility, coaxing every last bit of energy savings and throughput out of the equipment—and loving every minute of it!
My first assignment was the kind of thing you’d expect: I was involved in a long-term research project to study fuel cell membranes. Then, at the suggestion of a mentor, I took a field assignment and became a plant efficiency engineer.
To be good at this job, I learned I couldn’t rely solely on what the computer monitors were telling me. I also needed to listen to the plant operators; their experience and knowledge are among our company’s most valuable assets.
While in this assignment, I was part of a project to “test drive” an idea for improving plant performance. My relationship with the operators and my previous relationships at Headquarters made me the perfect liaison. I could help explain the potential value of the ideas and convince the operators to give the idea a chance to work; at the same time, I could relay the operators’ observations and suggestions to the research teams. The experience was quite rewarding and the idea generated a six-figure benefit for the company.
I took a similar role for my third assignment, which is now also my first permanent assignment. When successful, our team’s efforts can result in several hundred or thousand dollars a day of energy savings. It is incredibly rewarding to help Air Products make positive impacts on the environment!
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