Special and Interdisciplinary Engineering Fields

Jennifer Chua's Dream Job

Have you ever chosen a product like body lotion because of its cool packaging? Jennifer may have helped implement its design. She’s a packaging engineer who works at Method, a company in San Francisco that specializes in nontoxic, biodegradable products. Jennifer’s work contributes to making Method’s products high quality, great looking, and good for the environment.

What she does
Jennifer loves “being an engineer and being really creative.”  She’s an engineer, designer, and project manager all in one.  She assesses the quality and practicality of the packages these Earth-friendly products come in. “Part of my job is looking at the design and seeing if it’s even feasible, and then looking at the manufacturing process to ensure that these difficult, complex designs are implemented.”

What she loves about packaging engineering
“It’s a broad field and there are many things you can specialize in, like cosmetics, medicines, or electronics. It can be project-management based, like my work is, or you might be more like a mechanical engineer. You find yourself in a variety of roles depending upon your background.” Packaging is important, Jennifer says, because “it essentially becomes your means of advertising and marketing” a product.

Collaboration and creativity
“What’s so great about this company is that there is so much collaboration. And even though we have experts in design, everybody here is very creative and has a say in the design.” 

Education
B.S. and M.S. in packaging engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

Hobbies
Jennifer has been playing piano since she was a child.  She also loves walking her two dogs and volunteering at animal shelters (she did two years of pre-veterinarian studies in college before she switched her major to packaging engineering).

Advice
“Find out what you love and get paid for it! Do what you’re best at, what you are successful at, and not what someone else says you could or should be good at.”  
 

  • Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineer
  • Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Computer Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Special fields and Interdisciplinary Engineer