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Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Success Stories

About me:
Austin Herman
B.S. in Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering (2011)
Kroger, Cincinnati, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Process Analyst:
I am part of a process improvement team. I use statistical analysis to determine best practices to improve the efficiency of various operations on the retail side of our company.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Cross functional team leadership, Statistical Analysis, Understanding of Lean/Six Sigma principles, Basic Statistical Coding (MATLAB, R), Excel, Public Speaking, and PowerPoint are all required skills/abilities for my role.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering?
I would say that engineering is great because it makes you marketable. Engineering above all else teaches you how to be a problem solver, and companies today are looking for that skill. It is in high demand. I started my career off as a traditional engineer, but have moved more into a statistical analysis position. I’m not a “traditional engineer” anymore, but I still have to use the math, and problem solving skills I learned in my engineering courses every day. Ultimately, engineering opens doors to a lot of different fields because of the rigorous training you go through and the problem solving skills you obtain.


About me:
Kavian (Kave) Anderson-Spells
B.S. in Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering (2016)
The J.M. Smucker Company, Milkbone, Buffalo, NY

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Process Engineer:
As a process engineer, I am primarily tasked with leading projects that require testing to evaluate process changes, providing support to employees as a production supervisor and researching process equipment in order to make quotes. 

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Thermodynamics, mass and heat transfer, fluid mechanics, control systems, mass and energy balancing, and instrumentation

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering?
I would tell students to get a very broad experience. Learning in the classroom is essential to obtaining a college degree, but experiences as far as extracurricular activities, volunteering, and studying abroad are also amazingly effective learning tools. I spent some time teaching engineering concepts to school aged children and participating in engineering service learning in countries like Costa Rica and Ghana. 


About me:
Lauren Slutzky        
B.S. in Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering (2011) B.S. in Psychology (2011)
Ph.D. in Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering (2016)
Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH              

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Research Scientist:
I do a wide variety of materials science research projects focusing on formulation and product development for consumer, industrial and medical products.  I currently work on two projects for the Office of Naval Research, where I develop and design medical devices and personal protective equipment for our armed forces.  I also do market strategy for consumer products, helping our clients innovate their current product offerings.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
The projects I work on typically involve a team of 5 engineers and scientists, a project manager, and our business development/sales team.  Beyond my technical skills, I have to be able to communicate with everyone on our project effectively.  In project engineering work, your ability to work on a team is often more important than your technical skills, since you can always learn new technical skills!

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering?
Know how to market your skills, and literally list what skill sets you have.  Skill sets can be technical, as well as “soft skills” such as leadership, project and time management, etc.

 


About me:
Ujesh Vora
B.S. Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering (2015)
Nestlé, 1st Rotation: Solon, OH, 2nd Rotation: Medford, WI

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as an Operations Management Trainee:
As an Operations Management Trainee, or OMT, you rotate through 3 different positions over a course of 5 years. In the first rotation, you are placed in a manufacturing facility and work on two projects crucial to delivering the businesses objectives. In the second rotation, you become a front line (production, maintenance, or quality) supervisor and are responsible for developing and managing people. In the 3rd rotation, you take on a more corporate role working on projects that can impact several divisions, facilities and brands. 

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
To be successful in this role, you have to be willing to work well with others. In this job, you get involved in several different functions and projects in a short amount of time, so being able to learn from those who have the knowledge for your work is key to your success during your rotations. In addition, being flexible on where you live is also important as you do move up to three times as an OMT.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering?
The advice that I would have for those majoring in Food engineering would be to participate in as many problem solving activities and projects as you can. The skills you'll gain from problem solving will not only prepare you for real world challenges, but also develop your abilities to work with others.