While many graduating PhD chemical engineers continue in academia, a significant fraction contemplate a career in industry. Although this may appear as a simple choice between continued fundamental research and applying existing knowledge, industrial PhD ChemE careers span a range from nearly academic to highly business-oriented.
This talk will share my views on factors to consider before choosing an industrial career, some 20-20 hindsight on approaching the job market, and a sample of the range of career paths available to PhD chemical engineers in a Fortune 500 company. I’ll then share reflections of my personal journey in making the leap from a UC-Berkeley PhD to the surprisingly interesting world of consumer products. I’ll include case studies that highlight how ChemE subdisciplines like fluid mechanics, crystallization and phase diagrams can be applied to manufacturing challenges.
Geoff Wise received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC-Berkeley in 1999, under the tutelage of Morton Denn in the area of polymer processing. Since then, he has worked in Process Development of various business categories at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH. His current interests include process scale-up of complex fluids, emulsification, and crystallization of materials used in P&G’s Beauty Care business.