Improving Processes in Everything She Does

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Creator: Justin Lafleur, Lehigh Sports Communications

Former Lehigh volleyball star Rochelle Healea Sheridan ’03 is an engineer seeking inspiration for young women looking to pursue a similar path.

In particular, Sheridan is a human resources engineer for Energy Transfer in the oil and gas industry. Sheridan is located in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, and works at the Marcus Hook Terminal.

“I support several process units here,” she said. “We get natural gas liquids (ethane, propane, butane and petroleum) by truck, rail, ship or pipeline. Some of our process units use distillation columns to separate the chemicals and then we either cool them and put them on ships or the chemicals are on.” Load trucks or send them by pipeline. My job as a process engineer is to ensure that our units work as efficiently, safely and environmentally friendly as possible.

Sheridan’s job involves a lot of teamwork – including individual fieldwork.

“As a process engineer, I check the units in the morning,” she said. “I can actually see the entire process unit right on my computer. I can see the flows, temperatures and pressures. If I see something that needs adjusting, I can call our shift supervisor or console supervisor to get the setting right on there.” the device.

“Most of the time I spend looking at the operating system on my computer or having meetings with engineers or operations supporters,” Sheridan continued.

Sheridan’s interest in science started at a young age, so she’s not surprised where she is today.

“I’ve always loved math and science,” she said. “I was really blessed in our high school to have some engineers there. I was so excited about the fact that they could make a new product or make a process safer or greener.”

This inspiration helped Sheridan’s engineering path. Upon entering Lehigh, she was asked if she could manage to balance the rigors of a challenging engineering curriculum as a Division I student.

“The professor who challenged me actually became my advisor,” said Sheridan. “He put this pile of engineering books in front of me and asked if I was sure I could do Chemical Engineering and Division I volleyball. My answer was yes, I’m sure. I was sure I wanted to be in Lehigh and knew that that I would work really hard to make this happen.

“This challenge has been with me throughout my career, especially as an engineer,” she continued. “There are not always many women in the field. I am blessed here at Energy Transfer that we have many women in our construction and project group.”

Sheridan’s natural drive has driven her to success. One of their goals is to encourage women to pursue careers in engineering and oil and gas.

Sheridan has more than proven himself in her almost two decades long career. Looking back at the start, Rochelle actually received and accepted an offer at Sunoco before the spring semester of her senior year.

“I’ve been really blessed,” said Sheridan. “I immediately entered an Engineering Associates program. For the first three years you moved to a different location every year and you got to work in not just a different location, but an entirely different job.”

In her first year outside Lehigh, Sheridan worked as a process and project engineer on several projects at a phenolic plant.

“The most notable project I completed was a steam pipe that linked two of the units together,” she said. “One was out of order, so all of the steam they let out of the failed unit could be saved.”

Sheridan’s second rotation was at Sunoco corporate headquarters, where she worked with key process and project engineers in the company on larger projects. The third rotation took place in a polypropylene plant.

“I stayed at this polypropylene facility for another year and then took a position at Siemens Oil and Gas as a project manager in the pressure relief analysis department, which made me a much better process engineer,” said Sheridan. “Pressure relief analysis teaches you to look at the entire process and understand how a pressure relief valve or device can protect process equipment from hazards arising from high or low pressure.”
Rochelle Healea Sheridan

In 2015, Sheridan made a major career decision to accept a procedural position at the Marcus Hook Terminal. The terminal was in the process of building the Mariner East projects, which will convert the former refinery into a world-class natural gas liquid (NGL) hub. The Mariner projects included new distillation columns (splitters), refrigeration equipment and cold storage.
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“I’ll be here for six years in September and I love it,” she said. “It was great to be on the first floor instillation of the pipe, equipment, distillation columns, and compressor systems for our Mariner unit.”

To this day, Sheridan uses the skills and experience she learned as a Lehigh athlete in almost everything she does.

“Lehigh has helped me a lot because you are learning your role as a team player,” she said. “I was an outside batsman so my job was not only to pass the ball to the setter, but also to go outside and be ready to hit. When you learn your role on a team, it carries over Your role at work. “

“My role in working as a process engineer is to ensure that my unit is operating within key process parameters that ensure the quality of the specifications and energy-efficient operation,” continued Sheridan. “The other team players – like the operations managers – instruct the on-site operators who actually swing the valves or operate the console to operate the terminal.

“When you’re on the pitch for a sport, you have a position and a spot. When I get to work, I need to be rested and play my game so that I can do well and support my team.” Here.”

Sheridan continues to support her alma mater, which is still close to her heart. She speaks brightly of the impact Lehigh has had on her career and life.

Sheridan is one of the Patriot League’s greatest volleyball players of all time (Rochelle was a four-time All-League winner and was appointed to the team for the 25th anniversary of the league in the 2015/16 school year).

“I had the opportunity to speak to myself [current volleyball student-athletes] Ava Hudson and Victoria Jepson who are great young women, “said Sheridan.” They’re both studying environmental engineering which is great. It was great to hear their passion for lehigh volleyball and the careers they will make. I gave them some career advice just to highlight their role as student athletes and let people know that they were able to be student athletes while maintaining a really high GPA. It shows commitment to their work and also their leadership skills. “
Rochelle Healea Sheridan

Outside of athletics, Sheridan also participated in a first-year engineering class panel.

“I talked about sustainability and energy, answered some questions from first year engineers, and encouraged them in their careers,” she said. “I gave them the opportunity to ask questions about how they can make a difference in the industry and why their work is so important.”

Sheridan’s job is not only important but fulfilling as it is important to the overall operation.

“Last year I was a project manager for a mercaptan ship,” she said. “Mercaptain is the chemical that makes us stink propane. They stink propane. So if someone leaves the stove on, that person can smell the propane and turn the stove off immediately. Otherwise, propane is odorless.

“My project was to install this new tank that would give the propane a proper odor,” continued Sheridan. “It is so delightful to see the build of this huge tank, which is over 15 feet tall, and to see a crane adjust it and know that you designed it.

“It’s great to help, support, and make sure something works better and safer.”

While Sheridan improves the processes in her work every day, she also improves the process of women entering engineering by telling their story and serving as a source of inspiration (as she did in high school).

“I have two daughters, 12 and nine years old, and I would love if they can succeed in any career they want and feel like they are getting the same benefits as any other person in that career,” said Sheridan. “I look forward to helping athletes, and helping women feel comfortable in the oil, gas and engineering industries, knowing that they can make a huge difference, and not shying away from this career choice.”

Sheridan has this advice for budding engineers …

“When someone challenges you, you take it as a challenge to lead you further to successful points in your career,” said Sheridan. “Just because you’re new doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. Every time you walk into a facility they may have done the same operation over and over again. You might see something that could change and make something safer.” more environmentally friendly. “

Improving processes is something Sheridan has extensive experience with, thanks in large part to Lehigh.

“I am very grateful for my time at Lehigh,” she said.

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