Jeanne Visser

jeanne visserBS chemical engineering '03

(PhD chemical and biomolecular engineering '08, Cornell University)

Occupation: Process development engineer, INEOS Melamines
Residence: Longmeadow, MA

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I fell in love with the beauty of the campus.  I chose U of R because it has a great academic reputation that is strong in both science/engineering and liberal arts.  It was also the place I felt the most comfortable when I visited.

When and how did you choose your major(s)?

I always liked math and chemistry in high school and I really enjoyed my calculus classes as a freshman. I had been thinking of chemical engineering when I started school but I was still undecided. As a second semester sophomore I took the second chemical engineering core class, Fluid Dynamics. It really interested me, so I continued on in that major.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I was in Alpha Phi, AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), SWE (Society for Women Engineers), and quite a few intramural sports. I held office in Alpha Phi and AICHE, which helped my leadership skills. The social aspect of these activities is great. By joining activities I met many people, which as a bonus is good for business contacts in the future.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

After graduation I had an internship doing fuel cell research for General Motors for the summer. I then went on to Cornell University to get my PhD in chemical engineering because of my interest in pursuing a job doing research and development.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

I am a process development engineer at a chemical plant in Springfield, MA.  My company makes resins, car paint and other coatings. I work on scaling up products from the lab to the plant, as well as, improving the way the process runs.

How do you balance your work and personal life?

It is easy to feel overwhelmed at work.  I find the less stress I have the more productive I am, so it's very important to balance work with fun.  In order to reduce stress I make time for myself by participating in activities after work, going to the gym during lunch, or meeting up with friends for dinner.