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Hannah Gebur, oustanding senior in chemical engineering, with W. Samuel Easterling, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering.
Hannah Gebur, College of Engineering outstanding senior representing chemical engineering, with W. Samuel Easterling, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering.

“My goal as an engineer has always been to have a positive and lasting impact on the environment…Working to optimize processes by decreasing their raw material usage, energy consumption or emissions is a practical way to help the environment and is something that all engineers can work towards.”

Clubs and activities: Honors Program, Women in Science and Engineering, Society of Women Engineers, Intramurals, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, ISU Concert Band, GROOVE Drumline Club, Youth Sports Outreach Club, The Green Umbrella Club, music ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas and Youth Shelter Services. Additionally, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant and as a classroom assistant.

Valuable hands-on learning experience: I learned a lot through my experience in Dow Chemical’s rotational co-op program because it provided me with the opportunity to apply my chemical engineering knowledge while also learning a lot of new skills. 

By interacting with engineers, operators, production leaders and a variety of other employees, I learned the importance of networking and how combining the unique skill sets of others helps in effectively solving problems. 

With each co-op rotation, I also got the chance to try out a new job role in a different area of the U.S., which helped me narrow down what I want to do and where I want to live after college. 

Influential mentor: I’ve had a variety of mentors while at ISU who have each impacted me in different ways. 

Hamed Bateni, the graduate student I conducted research with, taught me how to generate meaningful results and conclusions through research and provided me with insights on the different higher education opportunities available for chemical engineers. 

In terms of academics, Jennifer Heinen, professor of chemical and biological engineering, often challenged me to become a better engineer and was always available to answer questions about schoolwork or the chemical engineering field. 

Finally, one of my co-op supervisors, Natasha Woodruff, provided me with valuable advice on working in the industry, which helped me better define my career goals and aspirations. 

Greatest accomplishment: As an undergraduate researcher, I was able to co-author a published paper about the creation of carbon-supported catalysts that aid in biomass conversion reactions. I originally chose to major in chemical engineering because I wanted to find ways to help the environment using my love of chemistry and problem-solving, so getting to work on sustainability-related research as an undergrad was very fulfilling. 

Favorite memory: Outside of the classroom and lab, a major highlight of my time at Iowa State would have to be when my intramural team won a championship T-shirt in three-versus-three soccer. 

Plans after graduation: I will be working as a production engineer for Dow Chemical at their silicone production facility in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Making my mark on the world: My goal as an engineer has always been to have a positive and lasting impact on the environment. However, I’ve come to realize that this can be achieved in other ways beyond working directly on creating renewable energy sources or solving environmental issues. 

Working to optimize processes by decreasing their raw material usage, energy consumption or emissions is a practical way to help the environment and is something that all engineers can work towards. By doing this, I hope to help preserve and restore nature, while allowing our society to continue to function, thus improving people’s lives rather than just maintaining them. 

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer: I think my favorite thing about being a Cyclone Engineer is the sense of community. Even when my co-op experiences have taken me across the U.S., I ended up meeting a fellow Cyclone at each job location, which provided me with some familiarity despite being a thousand miles from home. 

I truly appreciate the connections with faculty, alumni and other engineering students I’ve created during my time at Iowa State and will continue to create throughout my career. Overall, I’m grateful to have attended Iowa State as it has provided me with the necessary resources and knowledge to lead a successful career in chemical engineering. 

  Posts

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Nigel Reuel named Stanley Chair in Interdisciplinary Engineering

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