Aisha Torres is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her degree in Spring 2018. Apart from being a chemical engineer, she currently works for the Zachry Group Company Ambitech. Aisha is also a professional salsa dancer. She has continued dancing since starting at Ambitech and it’s still the perfect way for her to unwind. As a member of Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority Inc., Aisha continues to help her community with service events and paying what she has gleaned forward, to future students.
Can you tell us a little bit about the company/ organization you work for and what your day to day looks like?
“I work for Ambitech, A Zachry Group Company. Ambitech is a full-service provider of engineering design services with expertise in Front-End Loading (FEL/FEED) work as well as the ability to provide a transition from FEL/FEED into a fully integrated, construction-led EPC model. As a Process Engineer, my day to day involves working on projects in various industries: energy & chemical; food & beverage; pharma & biotech; and manufacturing. In a normal day I work on Process & Instrumentation Diagrams, Process Flow Diagrams, various hydraulic calculations, and process simulations”
On a macro- or micro-scopic level, how does this contribute to the chemical engineering field? What is the impact that your work has?
“I deal directly with the chemical processes in each of the industries mentioned; whether it be by designing the addition of an innovative technology, designing the expansion of their facilities, optimizing the current process, etc.”
What are some challenges/obstacles/difficulties that you have encountered or foresee encountering in you work?
“The biggest challenge has been the steep learning curve I’ve experienced since I started… Every day I learn something new and I foresee myself being kept on my toes for several years to come; however, I can’t say my day to day work is boring or monotonous.”
How did you hear about this opportunity? How would you recommend other students go about getting similar opportunities?
“I first heard about Ambitech when I was applying to internships as a junior. AIChE sent out the opportunity to apply to Zachry’s Corporate Intern Program. I applied, went through an application and interviewing process, and was placed at Ambitech in Downers Grove, IL. After completing my internship, I was offered a full-time position with them and since I had such an amazing experience as an intern, I gladly accepted. My recommendation would be to definitely keep an eye out for emails and events from AIChE, the UIC Engineering Career Center, etc.
One more recommendation I would make is that if you plan on becoming a professional engineer (Licensed) sometime in the future; take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam as soon as possible either your senior year or right after you graduate. I just passed my exam in November and even just graduating in May it was a tough exam to study for considering it covers everything chemical engineers learn as an undergrad from general chemistry to process control.”