Mechanical Integrity group
U.S. Operations division
Tonawanda, NY, USA
Field: Equipment Design and Selection
Susan R. Kelley was born in Florida and grew up in North and South Georgia, finally settling into the Atlanta suburban area when she reached her teens. As a youth, Ms. Kelley always enjoyed her science classes, and in high school, she discovered a love of chemistry, but did not have much affection for labs and lab reports. When a family friend mentioned that engineering was a real-world application of science, she was intrigued and applied to Georgia Institute of Technology as a chemical engineering student. Graduating in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, Ms. Kelley went on to gain 22 years of experience in her field. She currently serves as a senior engineer for the Mechanical Integrity group in the U.S. Operations division of the industrial gas and technology company, Praxair, Inc.
Ms. Kelley joined Praxair in 1992 as an operations management trainee in the Theodore, Ala., facility. She was promoted to plant engineer in 1993, and became responsible for handling small projects and day-to-day operations of the facility. She also helped to implement the ISO 9000 quality system at several facilities. In 1996, she was transferred to Praxair’s central engineering office in Tonawanda, N.Y., where she began specifying equipment for new cryogenic production facilities of various sizes. After several years, she was shifted from project work to revising global equipment standards, and, in 2001, she rejoined the U.S. operations team as a cost reduction engineer. In this role, she estimated, solicited funds for, and executed projects of varying complexity to reduce production costs, primarily focusing on reduced power consumption and increased equipment reliability. She also provided non-project technical support for the production facilities. After 10 years in that position, she transferred to her current position as a member of the mechanical integrity team.
Ms. Kelley has honed her expertise in equipment design and selection, and for the past three years, she has been involved with the Mechanical Integrity program for Praxair’s Process Safety Management (PSM) locations. She provides technical assistance to operating facilities and works in the division focusing on the refinement of atmospheric gases and CO2. She also audits information for existing locations and closes gaps where necessary. She remains current with trends in her field through her affiliation with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Giving back to the community is important to Ms. Kelley, so she volunteers as a cantor and choir member at her church. She also participates in a local bicycle ride for charity, called Ride For Roswell, and contributes monetarily to many charitable organizations. Additionally, she previously participated in a visiting scientist program for a local elementary school that was sponsored by Praxair. She attributes her success to having good mentors and good problem solving skills. As her career progresses, Ms. Kelley intends to continue learning new skills and broadening her existing skills. Continue reading