Carnegie Mellon University

Evelyn Fairman (M.S. '15)


Evelyn Fairman always knew that she wanted to be an Engineer in the energy sector. With her undergrad major in Chemical Engineering and minor in Renewable Engineering, she realized that policy and economics were as important as R&D and technology so she searched for relevant PhD programs. She was pleasantly surprised to find the EST&P program not only built on her ChemE background, but was also a one-year professional master’s degree. Excited to be accepted, she decided to gain valuable industry experience and plans to get a PhD in the future.

Fairman found that the program “was really international”, something she had gathered from the website pictures. Eventually, she found it to be a good exposure to different backgrounds and cultures. The second thing she noticed once courses got underway was that some classes were more breadth than in-depth, giving her opportunities to collaborate not only with other students, but also with faculty. She considers the CMU Career & Professional Developement Center a great resource which helped her land her current job.

Her first goal was to get a job, which she achieved as “a CMU degree was a good stamp and the EST&P program had great credibility.” Her next goal was to get to work on projects that were applicable in the real world. Through the program, Evelyn gained exposure to the intricacies of the energy sector, while before joining the program she could not wrap her head around the problems in the energy sector, but soon gained a “good dose of reality”.

Evelyn's favorite class was Infrastructure Management, which is an amalgamation of both CivE and EPP.  Dr. Chris Hendrickson teaches the class and were able to tour the underground CMU tunnels, pool area, and many more hidden components and learnt about optimization and telecommunications. Her favorite project was ‘Alternative fuels for transport and how to get people to buy them’ which involved evaluating how people make a decision about buying alternative fuels so that students could design a marketing campaign and figure out first adopters of alternative vehicles. The motivation behind the project was that the average person does not know about alternative fuels. It remained her favorite because as an engineer she had “never thought about the behavioral aspects of the energy sector.”

It's also important to involve yourself in extra-curricular activities to get the most out of your CMU experience. Evelyn was a part of the Dancer’s Symposium which she really enjoyed.  She was also the GSA Representative for EST&P, where she organized events for students of the program. About her experience she says, “GSA provided funding and carried out gatherings for students. They also collaborated with the university on new policies, and as a GSA rep you served as the voice of the EST&P student body.” Finally, as a member of the Society for Women Engineers (SWE), she volunteered in outreach programs and took part in hands on activities with younger students.

Evelyn is now working for The Linde Group for the Marketing and Innovation Development (MID) Program in Murray Hill, NJ. This is two year rotational program with the first rotation in the Plastics division, and a choice to get into the Energy rotation in the future.