Mariah Hoover, ’08, ’12

Mariah Hoover set out to be a chemical engineer because she wanted her work to make a difference in people’s lives. In her short career, Mariah has done a lot. After her bachelor’s, she worked on air fresheners in England. The appeal? “Consumer products have a quick turnaround. You can work on something, and see it in the grocery store 6 months later,” she says. Next, she helped clean up a chemical weapons site in Washington, D.C., work that really drew upon her training as a chemical engineer. “We had to figure out how to find the weapons in the ground, and to calculate exposure risks dermally, from inhalation, and long-term,” she says. “It was really exciting.”

During her Master’s degree, Mariah worked at Novartis in San Francisco, her first foray into pharmaceuticals despite her emphasis on biology as an undergrad, as well as at Cabot, a chemical company. Her next step? “I’m working for Shell Oil,” she says. “I’ll be working on introducing new technologies into refineries across North America. I can’t wait to get started.”

Rosanna Lim ’13, ’16

Entering Year: 2011
Undergraduate University: University of California, Berkeley

Thesis Advisors: Robert E. Cohen and Michael F. Rubner
Thesis Title: Strategies of Attaching Polyelectrolyte Multilayers to Cells and the Implications on Cell Behavior
Practice School Stations: Cabot Corporation (Billerica, MA), Novartis (San Carlos, CA)

Why I chose the PhDCEP Program

When I was an undergraduate, I was debating between getting a PhD or working in industry followed by business school. I want to work at the interface of business and technology, perhaps holding a management or business development role in a technical company. Thus, the combination of work experience and business school seemed like a logical path for me. However, during my internships, I realized that the people in more senior, managerial positions had doctoral degrees. I felt that having a PhD would open more doors for me, but getting a doctoral and MBA separately would mean too much time in school. When I stumbled upon the PhDCEP program in my graduate school search, I felt like it was the program of my dreams. It had the research experience and business aspect that I wanted, all together in one program.

Work experience and activities

As an undergraduate, I gained some research experience as an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Professor Maboudian. My summer internships at Genentech (2010) and Genencor (2011) gave me experience working in biotechnology, both for healthcare and industrial biotech. I also gained some teaching experience as an undergraduate teaching assistant for an organic chemistry class. During my undergraduate years, I was very involved in my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and was a member of Tau Beta Pi and AIChE. In my free time, I began running outside as a hobby and ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. I also enjoy traveling and experiencing new places.

Catherine Bartlett Matthews

Entering Year: 2014
Undergraduate University: Princeton University

Thesis Advisor: J. Chris Love
Thesis Title: Design of a cultivation medium for protein production in Pichia pastoris based on genome-wide biological understanding.

Why I chose the PhDCEP Program

I’m interested in solving problems at the intersection of science and business and hope to embark on a career working on products that result directly from scientific innovations. MIT’s CEP program offers a unique opportunity to do engineering research and take business classes, providing excellent preparation for roles that require both skill sets.

Work experience and activities

While an undergraduate, I worked on research projects in computational protein design with Professor Chris Floudas and neural network dynamics with Professor Yannis Kevrekidis. I completed a summer internship with ExxonMobil’s Fuels Marketing group in 2011. After graduation I joined The Boston Consulting Group, where I worked on 7 client projects over 2 years across a variety of industries and functional areas. Highlights include designing a vertical integration strategy for a medical device manufacturer, diagnosing supply chain service levels and identifying causes of late orders for a biopharmaceutical manufacturer, and evaluating investment strategies to combat febrile illness for a nonprofit global health foundation. In my free time I enjoy cooking, sailing, and traveling.

Alan Long

Entering Year: 2015
Undergraduate University: Case Western Reserve University (CWRU)

Thesis Advisor: William H. Green
Thesis Title: Natural Gas Combustion – Mechanism Generation for Elevated Pressures
Practice School Stations: Takeda Pharmaceutical (Osaka, Japan), General Mills (Minneapolis, MN)

Why I chose the PhD CEP program

An internship I had with an adhesives startup after my first year at CWRU seeded my interest in entrepreneurship and was a large part of my motivation for applying to and joining the PhD CEP program. While I am open-minded to a wide range of career paths, what I like most about the small startup scenario is the high degree of influence each member has on the company’s future and direction, plus the excitement that brings. I believe the PhD CEP program is giving me a unique skillset necessary to be successful in such roles that require a strong technical background and management perspective in tandem.

Work experience and activities

As an undergraduate, I gained research experience working in Professor Rohan Akolkar’s electrochemical engineering lab, and in Professor João Maia’s rheology lab. My initial industry experience came from two summers with Procter & Gamble in their paper products division as well as one summer with an adhesives startup, Bioformix (now Sirrus Chemistry).  Through practice school stations I have been exposed to both the pharmaceutical and food industries, and have gained a unique look at international business through the Osaka station. In my free time, I enjoy golfing, hiking, powerlifting, skiing, and milkshakes. I also currently serve as a graduate residence tutor (GRT) here at MIT.