Women Behind Innovation: Lan Ji

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Lan Ji is the Director of Process Engineering for Fluor with over 30 years of experience in troubleshooting and engineering, including conceptual and feasibility studies, front-end engineering and design, detailed engineering and start-up.  Predominantly worked in gas processing, offshore platforms, subsea facilities and petroleum refineries. Lan Ji has spent the past 11 years Orange County, California.

The Edison Awards recently spoke with Ji about her interest in science, what she likes about her fie and some of her career highlights. Here’s what she had to say:(edited for brevity and clarity)

When did your interest in engineering begin?

I became interested in engineering when I was little because my parents worked in China for the national oil and gas industry their entire lives. We had to move to different cities every three to five years because of my father’s assignments – building or revamping the refineries.  At that time, most Chinese families were burning coal for cooking and heating.  I wanted to be like my parents to change people’s lives.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I like my job as a process engineer. I have been working as an engineering consultant for over 30 years.  Most of the time, I feel like I am accomplishing tasks. There are sometimes I need to do mundane activities, but that is part of the job and I know that a technical challenge is ahead me and I cannot wait to resolve it.  Most importantly, I know I can reach out for help and get the task completed.  I was always treated as an engineer, not a female engineer.  There are more and more women joining our field. I am really excited to watch how they grow and how smart they are.

Share with us some of your career highlights.

One of my projects was to re-build a gas plant after an incident in Melbourne. It was one of biggest projects in Australia at that time.  Fluor sent the best engineers from the U.S. offices to help.  I learned so much from them and they also recognized my contribution to the project.  Soon, I was promoted from senior engineer to principle engineer. It was really great to get this promotion after working less than five years in the company and less than 12 years in the industry in Australia.

Last year, I was selected to be a Fluor Fellow, the highest technical recognition in the company.

How is your company bringing innovation to the forefront?

Fluor has a fellows program recognizing the company’s most distinguished technical experts around the globe who have made significant contributions to complex global projects, using their expertise to benefit clients throughout all phases of project execution. Fellows are also responsible for mentoring protégés and developing Fluor’s technical talents.

For an exclusive look at the Edison Awards “Women Behind Innovation” series, sign up for our free email newsletter.

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