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An Engineer Looks to the Future at ExxonMobil

It was an internship in modern manufacturing that changed Bobi Simonsen’s view of the industry—and gave her a sense of how many different kinds of opportunities were available.

“I remember school projects where I would just picture an engineer with a hard hat doing calculations,” said Simonsen. “I didn’t realize how much creativity and collaboration is involved in engineering. There is way more complexity than I had ever realized.”

A new path: Shortly after that internship, Simonsen got connected with ExxonMobil through the University of Texas—and she hasn’t looked back since.

  • Today, she’s a technical supervisor at the largest polyethylene site in the world, leading teams of engineers, chemists and technicians who perform experimental commercial-scale trials and improvement projects on the tough synthetic resin used in bags, containers and other packaging.

A sense of purpose: Simonsen is particularly interested in opportunities to support sustainability and sees manufacturing as the perfect place to make an impact. 

  • “I know young people are really passionate about sustainability, making a difference and having a purpose, and all of those are things you can do in manufacturing, especially at a place like ExxonMobil,” said Simonsen. “We are global, we are integrated and we have the resources and scale to impact an entire industry. That’s the reason I came to work here.”

A push for parity: Simonsen also sees how the lack of women in science, technology, engineering and math feeds into a shortage of women in manufacturing, and she’s eager to see more young women find their way into the field.

  • That’s why she leads industry meet-and-greet events on behalf of ExxonMobil at the University of Texas, volunteers at “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” events for K-12 students in Austin and Houston and hosts lunch-and-learn sessions with UT’s Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Read the full story here.

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