Students See a Greener Future at Engineers Week Sustainability Fair

As the centerpiece of this year’s National Engineers Week celebration, the College of Engineering hosted a “Careers in Sustainability Fair and Career Panel,” featuring more than a dozen organizations that incorporate unique sustainable practices into their businesses. Students took advantage of the opportunity to network with working professionals, share background on their studies and areas of focus, and receive advice about how best to market their skills for internship and work experiences.

Exhibitors and panelists took advantage of the face time with students to share information about their sustainable practices. “We employ a lot of engineers. We want to know students’ concerns and share our sustainability story,” says Julie O’Brien, Corporate Sustainability Manager for Air Products and Chemicals. “We work with 18,000 employees, 100,000 customers, and 30,000 suppliers, so we have the opportunity to touch a huge supply chain and help them be more sustainable.”

Al Iannuzzi, Ph.D., Senior Director of Worldwide Environment, Health and Safety for Johnson & Johnson, found similar value in the one-on-one opportunity with students. By participating in events focused on sustainability, “[we] can give more insight into what’s happening in the real world,” he says. “We’ve gotten to exchange some ideas and discuss how Johnson & Johnson handles sustainability.”

The fair also helped exhibitors and panel members meet potential new hires. Eric Frary, P.E., Vice President and North Region Transportation Operations Manager for Michael Baker Corporation, took advantage of pre-recruiting opportunities with a diverse mix of engineering students. “It’s also giving us a chance to get students interested in what we do and see what they are learning,” he says.

Exhibitors included ERM, Air Products and Chemicals, Exelon Nuclear, Weston Solutions, Johnson & Johnson, Waste Management, Eneractive Solutions, Steel Orca, Michael Baker Corporation, Preferred Sands, and the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering.

Following the fair, students networked with industry representatives before attending the panel portion of the event, which featured representatives from the Coca-Cola Company, Johnson Controls, Johnson & Johnson, Weston Solutions, Air Products and Chemicals, Eneractive Solutions, and Michael Baker Corporation.

ulie O’Brien, Corporate Sustainability Manger for Air Products and Chemicals, meets with engineering students. Also pictured with O'Brien: Christopher O’Neill ChE ’02, Senior Research Engineer (right), and Jignesh Shah MSSE ’12, who is currently working with Air Products and Chemicals outside class.
ulie O’Brien, Corporate Sustainability Manger for Air Products and Chemicals, meets with engineering students. Also pictured with O'Brien: Christopher O’Neill ChE ’02, Senior Research Engineer (right), and Jignesh Shah MSSE ’12, who is currently working with Air Products and Chemicals outside class.

Photo Credit: Paola Nogueras