Chemical Engineer Melissa Shew ’19 on Her Way to Air Products

After transferring to Manhattan College, Shew landed a job in the field of her choice.

Melissa Shew wearing Air Products hatFrom chemistry major to chemical engineer, from California to New York, Melissa Shew ’19 has taken advantage of her opportunities across the board.

A California native, Melissa Shew came to Manhattan College in 2016 to complete a three-year/two-year dual bachelor’s degree program. She spent three years at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, majoring in chemistry, before majoring in chemical engineering at Manhattan College.

“It’s been a great experience,” Shew said. “All my teachers in the chemical engineering department, and all the other departments I’ve interacted with have been really good. I love it here.”

The planned two-year program turned into a three-year program when Shew decided to also minor in environmental engineering at Manhattan College. During her time at Manhattan, she has been a student researcher in the Chemical Engineering department, a member of the Society of Women Engineers and a member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, and Omega Chi Epsilon, the national honor society for chemical engineering.

During the summer of 2018, Shew began an internship at Air Products in Long Beach, California, which led to an offer to work full-time at Air Products.

At her internship, Shew helped analyze sewer water pH fluctuations to achieve environmental compliance, compiled and updated a critical safety systems and consequence of deviation summary table and led a full plant piping and instrumentation diagram update.

“I got a really well-rounded plant experience at my internship,” Shew said. “Everyone was willing to answer my questions and would drop things to help me. I was able to work with the engineers, operators and the maintenance people to see how everything works.”

Shew will take on three different jobs in a two-year rotational program at Air Products, which provides industrial gases and related equipment to dozens of industries, including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. Air Products is also the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment.

At the start of the rotational program in July, Shew will work in equipment sales and plant support at Air Products’ facility in Allentown, Pa., for eight months. From there, she hopes to return to her home state of California and continue her immersion into process engineering.

By Pete McHugh