Why an Engineer?

Interested in becoming an engineer? Meet Dr. Valla in this interview and find out how she got interested!

What got you interested in engineering?

I was always good in math and I loved chemistry! So, it was a natural choice for me to study chemical engineering. It was connecting the dots. Also there is a lot of science and research in chemical engineering which fascinates me. Research on renewable green fuels is my focus right now.

What king of work have you done as a chemical engineer?

I have worked to reduce sulfur in transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel; sulfur is harmful for car engines and contributes to acid rain. I have also worked on the development of new catalysts to make more fuels per barrel of oil. Currently, I am working on the production of fuels and energy using green resources.

What does green energy mean?

Green energy is produced from any natural sources, such as sunlight, wind, rain, plants, or geothermal heat. The green energy resources are also renewable meaning that they can be naturally reproduced. Unlike fossil fuels (such as crude oil or coal) renewable energy sources are environmental friendly, meaning that they produce less or no greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.

Why is green energy important?

Green energy is extremely important for our future. Our society has already realized it and we, as scientists, have taken huge steps towards creating green energy options. Green energy can provide sustainability, domestic security and clean environment.

What advice would you give to aspiring young engineers?

First of all study, study, study. Be curious. Always question yourself “why”? Be passionate and always have critical thinking. Move your ideas forward. Be a risk taker.


An encouraging message for female engineering students –