“In high school, I was extremely interested in chemistry and pharmaceuticals. I thought about first going to pharmacy school, but I was more interested in how drugs were actually made rather than the dispensing of drugs to patients,” shares Casey Wagner, senior Chemical Engineering major from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County).
Four years later, she’s conducting research for ExxonMobil.
While working as a research assistant at Rowan over the summer, Casey bumped into her past professor, Dr. C. Stewart Slater. He encouraged her to join his fall clinic team to help ExxonMobil with a project involving the flushing operations of its lubrication plant. Casey explains, “It seemed like an awesome opportunity as a student who wants to go into industry.”
She continues, “The project is still in the beginning stages of development. So far our team is researching how we can relate other industries to the oil industry. Being able to visit the lubrication plant in Paulsboro, NJ and see how the operations are completed was an awesome experience. Being able to contact engineers and operators who are working at this plant to ask them questions and learn from their experiences has been a great experience for my future.
“Overall, I’ve been very happy with the professional experience I’m gaining from being a part of this project. I’m extremely happy with the way the communication is between the students and ExxonMobil workers. I feel like we are slowly narrowing our focus as a unit and getting closer to finding plausible options for the plant.
“I have gained some very valuable research experience from being a part of this project. Obviously, as engineers, we have to create unique ideas for our own experiments all the time. Reading about previously done work in contrasting industries and finding correlations between those different industries within the oil industry is very important for this project. This procedure is important no matter where I work in the future.
“Also, working with different groups of people whether it be within the same company or at a different company has given me valuable professional experience. Learning different terms and expressions used by other engineers and chemists has been helpful.”
Casey feels Rowan best prepared her for this opportunity through the engineering clinics. Every semester, all engineering majors are enrolled in clinics, which provide students with an opportunity to join projects they are interested in. She continues, “It definitely prepared me for work after college and for deciding whether I want to continue my education or move on to working in the industry.”
She knows if she ever has any questions, Dr. Slater or Dr. [Mariano] Savelski will always answer them. She shares, “Dr. Slater this past year has been a guiding hand for me and is someone who I know I can always go to for help with future careers.”
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Story and photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major