YSU STEM always enjoys learning what its former students are up to and sharing our congratulations on the success of our alumni, like Julia Mercer. Julia, after graduating from YSU in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, has gone on to find a great deal of success pursuing her career.
It didn’t take long for Julia, a Michigan native, to find where she belonged. For the last five years, she has worked as an engineer for Carmeuse Lime and Stone, which mines and manufactures industrial chemicals. Specifically, Julia focuses her work and engineering skills on traveling to customers’ work sites to make sure that the chemicals are being used safely and efficiently, which is something that is very important to Carmeuse. She also builds customer relationships, develops new products, and protects the company’s intellectual property. Much of what Julia does today, though, reflects the skills that she learned while at YSU.
“The confidence and technical reasoning skills I built as I went through the engineering curriculum helps me in my daily activities as I troubleshoot the use of chemicals at customers’ plants…” Julia says about how her YSU education has helped her. She continued to say, “I think YSU’s engineering curriculum is very good at developing engineers who are proficient technically and can communicate well with a diverse audience.”
The ability to communicate well is something that Julia says is one of the most important things to develop in the work place. She thinks that the perfect place to learn these skills is during summer internships, like her internships at General Electric, WCI Steel, and United States Steel. Julia believes that while a student’s internship may not be in their dream field, the experience gained is more valuable than you might realize.
“Communication skills often are more important than engineering skills…” she says.
While Julia picked YSU for its great engineering program, she also chose YSU because she wanted to join the YSU Swimming and Diving team. She was, however, involved with a great deal more that just the swim team during her time at YSU. Julia was also involved with the Catholic Student Association, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.
Much of Julia’s success can be traced back to not only her education at YSU, but to her husband Tyler, also a YSU STEM graduate, her family, and her faith. She and her husband both greatly enjoyed their time at YSU. Specifically, Julia enjoyed that she had small class sizes, which is not the case in most engineering schools.
Julia has most recently published articles on Acid Mine Drainage and Flue Gas Desulfurization, which focused on how to use industrial chemicals for optimum performance and environmental conservation. Julia’s progress and experience with Carmeuse has qualified her to be a member of a newly formed sustainability team at Carmeuse. The Sustainability team will raise awareness of the concept of sustainability, both publically and within the company concerning Carmeuse’s core values. She also attended the One Young World Conference in 2012, where 1,300 leaders from over 150 countries, who were also under 30, met to discuss subjects such as human rights, global health, and transparency and integrity.