PROFESSION AND CAREER AS A CHEMICAL ENGINEER IN USA
Q: What is your profession?
Q: What kind of engineer?
A: Chemical Engineer.
Q: Where did you finish your course?
A: In Manila,Philippines.
Q: In what university in Manila, Philippines did you finish your course?
Q: So, your school is a well-known engineering university in Philippines. Since you are in USA, are you going to continue your profession and career as a Chemical Engineer?
A: Yes of course. I am going to continue my profession and career as a Chemical Engineer here in USA. I am going to continue it by means of taking the Board Examinations in Chemical Engineering and finding the jobs that will suitable and near to my profession.
Q: Did you take the Board Examinations in Chemical Engineering here in USA?
A: Yes, I have taken my Board Examinations in Chemical Engineering here in USA. There are two steps in taking the Board Examinations in Chemical Engineering. First, you have to take the Engineering-in-Training or EIT Examination then finally, the Professional Examination or PE. If you passed your PE, then you will become a Licensed Professional Engineer in your state. In my case, I contact the Department of Consumer Affairs here in California. They send me the application forms thru mail then I mailed them back after I filled-up the forms. I took my EIT Examination last October 27, 2001 at San Mateo Expo County Center. We bring handbook only, Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook, because the proctors are very strict. They will inspect your handbooks very well. The result was released last December 24, 2001 and it was a great blessing for me this Christmas Eve because I passed my EIT Examination. I received my EIT Certicifate thru mail. Since I passed my EIT Examination, my next step is to find a job that is related to my profession because according to the DCA, you have to get three to five years local working experience as a Chemical Engineer in order to get the Professional Engineering or PE Examination.
Q: Do you have reviewing materials or books in Chemical Engineering and where do you buy your reviewing materials and books?
Q: Since you passed your Board Examination in Chemical Engineering, do you have an organization or affiliation to your profession here in USA?
Q: Are you an active member of American Institute of Chemical Engineer (AIChE)?
A: Yes, I am presently active member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers. I have to be an active member of AIChE so that I will meet and know other fellow Chemical Engineers as well as the officers by means of attending the meetings, seminars, annual conventions and plant visits. I joined the AIChE last January 2002 and I am started to attend the meeting since February 2002. I attended the following meetings, symposiums, and plant visits:
- I attended the February 2002 Noth Bay Meeting at Faz Restaurant in Pleasanton, California last February 19, 2002. I met my fellow Chemical Engineers and officers and I am glad that they are also friendly and professional approachable. The theme of the meeting is about the new technology of ALZA Corporation. Dr. Howie Rosen, Vice-President of Strategic Planning of ALZA Corporation discussed his Technical Session about "Delivering on its Promises, ALZA is Leading the Next Generation of Drug Delivery".
- I attended the Plant Visit at Basic Food Flavors, Inc. in North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA last March 26, 2002 courtesy of American Institute of Chemical Engineers Nevada Section. I am glad that I met some of the officers of AIChE Nevada Section like Mr. Robert Zimmerman, the Chair of the AIChE Nevada Section. Mr. Randy Pierce, the Treasurer of AIChE Nevada and a Senior Engineer at Basic Food Flavors, Inc. did a plant tour for us. They are professionaly friendly and approachable as well. He gave me a carpool back to my best friend's house after the meeting and plant visit. They will inform me again if there is incoming meetings and events in Nevada Section.
- I attended the 40th Annual Symposium of AIChE NorCal Section about "Meeting the Energy Needs of the New Millenium" last April 26, 2002 at SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.
- I attended the May 2002 North Bay Meeting at ABC Seafood Restaurant in Foster City, California last May 21, 2002. The theme of the meeting is about "Learning from Incidents/ Accidents - Why, why, why?". Mr. Varum Gopalakrishma of Environmental and Occupational Risk Management was a guest speaker and he discussed this technical session.
- I attended the June 2002 North Bay Meeting at Scores Legendary Sports Restaurant in San Mateo, CA last June 18, 2002. The theme of the meeting is about Managing Investment Risk: The Art of Asset Allocation. Mr. Richard W. Huber, Senior Vice-President of Morgan Stanley, was a guest speaker and he discussed this technical session.
- I attended the September 2002 North Bay Meeting and Plant Visit at Valero Refinery, Benicia, CA
last September 17, 2002. The theme of the meeting is about the tour at Valero Refinery in Benicia, CA. The plant engineers of Valero Refinery in Benicia, CA were the guest speakers and they discussed the plant tour and technical session.
- I attended the October 2002 North Bay Meeting at HS Lordships Restaurant in Berkeley, CA last October 15, 2002. The theme of the meeting is about "Life in the Fishbowl: Current Issues for the University of California". Dr. Judson King, the winner of our 2002 Chemical Engineering Excellence Award for Professional Achievement, was a guest speaker and he discussed this technical session.
- I attended the February 2003 North Bay Meeting at Scores Legendary Sports Restaurant in San Mateo, CA last February 11, 2003. The theme of the meeting is about "Nanotechnology for Electronic Devices". Robert A. Gasser, Jr.: Vice President, Technology & Manufacturing Group, and Director, Components Research, Intel, was a guest speaker and he discussed this technical session.
- I attended the March 2003 North Bay Meeting at Spenger's Fish Grotto Restaurant in Berkeley, CA last March 18, 2003. The theme of the meeting is about "The Future of Fuel Cells Panel Discussion". The following are the guest speakers for this technical session: Sanjiv Malhotra, Vice-President for Business development with H-power; Barbara Heydorn, a strategy consultant with SRI Consulting's Business Intelligent Unit; and Elton Cairns, a Professor of Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley and a Faculty Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
- I attended the 41st Annual Symposium of AIChE NorCal Section about "Emerging Trends in Biotechnology" last April 29, 2003 at South San Francisco Conference Center, South San Francisco, CA.
- I attended the May 2003 North Bay Meeting at Faz Restaurant in Pleasanton, CA last May 20, 2003. The theme of the meeting is about "CAPS - Applying Technical Analysis to Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction". Mr. Tom Ramos of Lawrence Livermore National Labororatory (LLNL) was a guest speaker and he discussed this technical session.
- I attended the September 2003 North Bay Meeting at Spenger's Fish Grotto Restaurant in Berkeley, CA last September 16, 2003. The theme of the meeting is about "Career and Life Strategies, How to Handle the Curves Life Sends You, An Interactive Panel Discussion". The guest speakers for these technical sessions are the following: Ms. Karen Bertrand, VC Consultant, former Venture Capitalist and former Executive Recruiter, Ms. Linda Bickham, HR Specialist, Lee Hecht Harrison Outplacement Consultants, Ms. Kristen Bole, Private Career Coach, and Ms. Molly Robb, Executive Recruiter, Ken Clark International.
- I attended the October 2003 North Bay Meeting at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, CA last October 21, 2003. The theme of the meeting is about "WINE: A Simple Pleasure Available Since 6000 BC". The guest speakers for these technical sessions are the following: Mr. Andy Waterhouse, a Professor of Viticulture and Ecology at University of California Davis and a world renowned expert on Wine Chemistry, and Mr. Allan Stern, owner of Angel Catering in San Francisco, CA and Global Wines, a Saint Helena Company focusing on the boutique wines of Italy, France, and Spain.
- I attended the Symposium on California's Fuel Cell Industry together with the AIChE's Annual National Meeting last November 16, 2003 at San Francisco Hilton in San Francisco, CA. AIChE North California Chapter was the sponsor for the AIChE's Annual National Meeting for 2003.
- I attended the January 2004 North Bay Meeting at Chevron Texaco RLE Auditorium in Richmond, CA last January 20, 2004. The theme of the meeting is about "The Refinery of the Future". The guest speaker for this technical session was Dr. Ashok Krishna, a Managing Director of CT's Technology Marketing group of Chevron Texaco that markets hydroprocessing technology and catalysts worldwide. The company was very strict and we did not allowed us to take the pictures inside the company due to the security reasons.
- I attended the February 2004 North Bay Meeting at Genentech, Inc. in South San Francisco, CA last February 24, 2004. The theme of the meeting is about "Genentech, Reconceiving Medicine in the 21st Century". We had a plant visit at Genentech Fermentation and Recovery Pilot Plants. We gave thanks to our co-member of AIChE NorCal Section like Ms. Jean Bender and Mr. Steven Meier of Genentech who conducted the plant tour. The company was also very strict and we did not allowed us to take the pictures inside the company due to the confidentiality reasons.
Q: Since we have websites and internets anywhere in the world, do we have a website about Chemical Engineering?
A: Yes, we have websites for Chemical Engineering and they are Chemical Engineering Resources and Chemical Engineer. I am always using this website in my research work and practice even when I was in the Philippines.
Q: Do you think that being a member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers will help you a lot in you career?
A: Yes, being a member of AIChE will help me a lot in my career. I will increase my knowledge and techniques of Chemical Engineering not only in USA and Philippines but in the whole world. Also, if there is a job opening then your fellow Chemical Engineer will help you to recommend to his office and you will find better jobs.
Q: Are you working now as a Chemical Engineer here in USA?
A: Yes, but a little because most of my positions assigned by Lab Support are Lab Technicians. According to American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) being a Lab Technician is also a part of Chemical Engineering field. Thanks to have Lab Support here in California because they help me to give or assign a job. Most of the industries assigned by Lab Support are biotech companies. Most of the biotech companies are located in South San Francisco. I was assigned in biotech companies like ChemRx, Advanced Medicine, Telik Incorporated, Exelixis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Fibrogen, UCSF Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Genencor International, Inc., and DepoMed. Presently, I am working at Amgen, Inc. as a Lab Technician thru Lab Support.
Q: You mentioned before that you have Masters Degree units in Chemical Engineering at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, do you have a plan to finish your Masters Degree particularly your thesis?
A: Yes, I have a plan to finish my Masters Degree if I have a time to go back to Philippines. As of now, I am a very busy person here. I am working at Amgen, a biotech company located in South San Francisco, California, as a Lab Technician. If I can get a long vacation leave, then I can continue my thesis work in order to finish my Masters Degree. I have a plan to go back to Philippines by 2005 to finish my thesis work and I send my leave of absence to Ms. Malou Jakosalem, our secretary in Engineering Graduate Studies of DLSU. I will save dollars to continue my thesis work if I have a time to go back to Philippines.
Q: If you cannot go back to Philippines to finish your thesis work, can you continue your Masters Degree in US?
A: I don't know because some universities here in US will not consider some of the units taken in Philippines. If they not consider my units taken in DLSU, I will go back to Philippines to continue my Masters Degree. I don't want to waste the scholarship given by DLSU to me thru Faculty Development Program. You should teach in DLSU at least 3 units in order to avail the Faculty Development Program. Let's see in the future what will be my career in the US.
Q: If you finished your Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering after you finished your thesis, do you have a plan to take the Doctoral Degree or PhD in Chemical Engineering and where?
A: Yes, of course. I will pursue my Doctoral Degree or PhD in Chemical Engineering after I finished my Masters Degree. I am looking for the schools and universities here in San Francisco, California. If I am going to take my PhD in Chemical Engineering, I would like to choose the field in Biotechnology or Food Technology.
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