Eric Blanco
Business Development Manager

Why did you join Air Products?
In a word, opportunities. I was an experienced hire when I came to Air Products in 2013. I spent the early part of my career in various engineering roles. They helped me to develop a strong technical background and experience in the industrial market. But despite that, I was left looking for a place where I felt I could have a real positive impact, and an employer that considered not just my abilities relative to their needs, but also took into consideration what I wanted to do. I found those things in Air Products. I also found a location that fit my family and provided various opportunities for us to live and grow where we feel comfortable and at home.

Why do you love working at Air Products? What is it that keeps you working at Air Products?
The work is exciting and varied. Every day is different; the challenges are real. I can see that my efforts have an impact. My management provides me the connection from what I do to how it benefits Air Products as a whole. They also provide a support structure to help me be successful. It’s built into the culture.

Please describe your career at Air Products to date. 
My first role was with our Hight Temperature Materials and Engineering Center. This was a technical group with the mandate to support our Hydrogen Production Facilities by tackling the long term difficult issues that our Operations organization could not address due to their primary responsibility of operating the facilities. This was a very technical team that took on the toughest challenges and was well respected within the organization.

From there I moved to the Equipment Sales and Plant Support Group. At the time, we were establishing a new offering, leveraging the company’s world class expertise in Hydrogen Production facilities to support third-party sites. My background in supporting our own Hydrogen Plants made me a natural fit. Since joining the group, my responsibilities have changed to incorporate new account responsibilities, new plant types, and new regions. I now have primary responsibility to support our #1 joint venture partner located in Mexico where I spend most of my time discussing Air Separation Plants instead of Hydrogen.  

Tell me about the most intriguing/satisfying thing(s) you’ve been involved in since you’ve been at Air Products.
Starting a new business. It seems an odd thing to say as part of a large, Fortune 500 company with a 75+ year history, like Air Products. But since joining Air Products I have been involved in no less than four activities that have all had a very entrepreneurial feel. The High Temperature Materials and Engineering Center was a newly formed group when I joined it. We were completely internal to Air Products, but we still had to establish our identity, define our role within the organization, and then convince our customers (other Air Products facilities) that we were the right and best place for them to find solutions to their issues. When I moved to the Equipment Sales and Plant Support group, we were starting up the Hydrogen Services business. That was very similar, but even more exciting in that we weren’t convincing other Air Products sites that we were the best, we were marketing ourselves to outside companies, educating them about our capabilities, and showing them why Air Products was the right company to put their trust in to improve their operations. And that trend continues as I am now involved in a recent acquisition Air Products made of the Rotoflow brand of turboexpanders. This is a business and technology that Air Products has a long history and a great deal of expertise in, but primarily in support of our own plants. With the Rotoflow acquisition I find myself again in front of customers demonstrating our expertise in yet another new but still related market.

What career advice would you give to those just starting out in their engineering careers?
Do what you love and work hard. I have found one universal truth, no matter what school or what part of the country (or the world), engineering is not an easy discipline. Congratulations on your success to date. What that rigorous curriculum has prepared you for and taught you is how to work efficiently and not shy away from difficult problems. I have seen engineers in business roles, management roles, marketing roles, and even technical roles, and in all cases the most successful are the individuals that are willing to take on the difficult challenges. If the particular challenge you are working on, the type of work you are doing, is interesting to you and enjoyable then it is easier to see it through to a successful completion. There are a lot of smart people out there but passion and motivation are rarer commodities.

Please explain what you do (in your current and/or previous job) contributes to sustainability?
One of the primary tasks of the Equipment Sales and Plant Support group is to provide spare parts and services. In many ways, that keeps aging assets in operation and operating efficiently. Without this service, I imagine many customers would end up replacing older assets more frequently, creating additional waste.

In a different sense, many of our customers come to us because Air Products has demonstrated an industry leading position in the efficient operation of many of our processes. Through my group, we can offer services to our customers by which our same internal experts can provide their technological expertise to improve the efficiency of our customer’s own operations. Greater efficiency, whether it be at an Air Products facility or a customer’s plant, is a good thing. 

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