Christine Frazier-Hollins

Christine Frazier-Hollins

Title
Ops Engineer
Organization
Chevron
Location
TX, United States
Christine Frazier-Hollins
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Biography
My name is Christine and I am a Chemical Engineer. Being an engineer has allowed me to live in all across the country from the Northeast to Mountaineer Country to The Deep South, the Wild West and then Deep in the Heart of Texas. The first few years of my career were in the glass industry. I was first a Shift Supervisor and then a Process Engineer for the plant that made Corning Ware and Visions Cookware. It was really exciting to see the complexity behind how glass is made to be used in your home. I was on the production team that put into production the pad printer used to imprint the Martha Stewart co-branded line of Corning Ware and ran the validation experiments for equipment used to fire the dishes. Later I moved to a site that produced high purity fused silica - which is a fancy name for a very pure glass used in telescopes, microscopes, and with lasers to etch microchips. After several years in glass I moved along to the world of Industrial Gases. Examples of Industrial Gases are Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Argon they are used in a variety of industries from hospitals, to chemical plants, refineries, and even in welding. I worked not only in plants but also in pipeline operations. There is a vast network of pipelines all across the United States - and I worked for 4 years as a Pipeline Controller, those are the people who are responsible for safely directing the flow of product through the pipes. I used my engineering background and served on projects to improve operational efficiency, training, and ensure regulatory compliance. That skill set enabled me to become a Pipeline Optimization Manager and later a Six Sigma Black Belt. Currently, I work as an Operations Engineer for a major oil company. In my job I get to build tools used by both the operations and business side to safely and efficiently deliver products to their intended destination.
Education
BS in Chemical Engineering
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to be contacted about potential job shadowing by interested students.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Christine Frazier-Hollins

Hello Tameez, thank you for writing in. Chemical Engineering is alive and well and more important than ever in today's world. Chemical Engineering is applied in Oil & Gas, Chemicals Manufacturing, Food Processing, Medicine, and Automobile Design to name a few. In fact the need for Chemical Engineers is so high that some employers offer incentives just for those holding a degree in it.  

Many Chemical Engineering programs (especially in the US) sprang up around industry - so you may tend to see a larger concentration in one geographical area vs. another. Due to its vast nature and field of application Chemical Engineering has given birth to other engineering subsets that are now their own stand alone programs - e.g. Environmental (combo of Chemical and Civil); Biomedical (combo of Mechanical and Chemical); Biochemical, Petroleum, Pharmaceutical, and the list goes on and on.  Some universities have opted to offer only the four core Engineering fields (ChemE, EE, CivE, and ME) and allow their students to choose concentrations with electives.  Other schools offer a broader range of programs.   Chemical Engineers often work as Process Engineers and many shift into other roles over their careers in part due to the doors opened up by having a foundation in Chemical Engineering. 

If Chemical Engineering is something you are truly interested in pursuing or knowing more about consider contacting some of the professional organizations such as American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). They can connect you with a local chapter where you can find out more about opportunities in your area and perhaps even offer some mentoring.  It's a great profession and it's great time to be a Chemical Engineer. 

Hi Rayhana! Congratulations on both of your achievements you should be very proud.  Making decisions like this is very personal. When I was a senior I faced a similar decision. A professor I trusted suggested that I go work for a few years to be able to really understand and experience what I had just spent the past 4 years studying and to help me narrow my focus if I did return to school later.  I can say that I have not gone back to school and have been very successful with just my Bachelors. Everyone will have a different career path and for me it took going into the workforce to truly discover what I was passionate about and where I wanted to focus my career.  Engineering in the classroom is often very different from engineering in the workplace. You may or may not be performing rigorous calculations – often you are putting together simple solutions to address a need or working to make something perform just a little bit better than it had been. There are lots of things to learn from books; however, I have found that hands on experience and interaction with end users to be invaluable.  Management Training programs are an excellent way to get to know a company and gain exposure to many types of positions in a safe and structured environment – companies are investing in you to become their leaders of tomorrow.  If you choose the work route you will also have the potential advantage of your employer picking up some or all of your costs to get your masters. In terms of taking a break and ease of jumping back all I can say is: If you are determined, you will succeed.  Will it be different? Yes. Will it be more stressful? Probably. Will you succeed? Absolutely, if you are determined.  As you make your decision consult others (who have your best interest at heart), weigh the advice you’ve been given and trust your gut. Don’t be fearful and take comfort in knowing there is no wrong choice here. You can and will be successful whichever avenue you choose at this fork in the road.