1260 Mayo (MMC 807)
420 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Main: 612-626-0900
Fax: 612-626-4837

 
 

Home >Prospective Students : Industrial Hygiene

Industrial Hygiene/HSAT

Industrial Hygiene

Alumni Profiles

 

glenz
Tracy Glenz (MS, 2008)


BioWatch Program Coordinator
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP),
University of Minnesota

Describe your job-what do you do, what is a typical day like?

I work as a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security's BioWatch program, which is a nationwide bio-surveillance system designed to detect the intentional release of select aerosolized biological agents (i.e. a bioterrorism attack). 90% of my time is spent designing, conducting and evaluating exercises for cities involved in the program. I also provide expertise on environmental sampling and personal protective equipment for program guidance documents. A typical day is spent writing and coordinating various documents required for an exercise to be compliant with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, and about seven times a year I hit the road with our exercise team to conduct and evaluate what are usually two-day exercises around the country.

What do you think is the most important part of your job?

I believe that the work that we are doing is helping to better prepare federal, state and local governments to respond to a biological agent release. If they are able to respond quickly and efficiently because of the exercises we have conducted or the guidance we have coordinated, the public's health will be better protected.

What do you like about your job? What do you like least about your job?

I like that it is very rarely the same day twice. Because we are a small team we all have to pitch in to get the job done, so we do everything from mass printing of documents to editing presentations being given at workshops to creating elaborate scenarios for exercises. I also like we are a very professional team with no slackers, and that we have a very flexible work schedule that allows me to work from home three days a week. While I like to travel and enjoy the trips that we do, it is hard to be away from home what currently amounts to eight times a year and is probably going to increase.

What got you interested in this field?

Between getting my BS and MS I spent 7 years in the active duty Air Force as an industrial hygienist. A lot of my time was spent doing traditional IH stuff, but we also had a disaster response mission that I really enjoyed. My military background and degree in IH were what got me this job.

Where do you see yourself going in the future?

Honestly, my dream job is to be a full-time farmer. I own a 13-acre hobby farm (two horses and two cats) that I would love to turn into a business. But until that becomes a reality (several years from now) I plan to keep this job for as long as I can. I have also considered working as an IH consultant because I enjoy traditional IH work as well. I plan to take the CIH exam sometime in the next year.

What did you gain from your University of Minnesota educational experience?

I got a lot of on-the-job experience in the Air Force prior to coming to school at the U, but the classes I took reinforced what I had learned and also gave me more background on why industrial hygienists do things the way they do them.

What advice would you give someone just starting out in this field?

Get work in the field if you possibly can, either before or while you're in school. So much of industrial hygiene (and hazardous substances work of any kind) is learned on the job, and you can't get a feel for what we really do on a day-to-day basis from classes.

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 


Seung Won Kim (PhD, 2008)


Associate Service Fellow
Health Effects Laboratory Division
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Morgantown, WV

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the Industrial Hygiene program?

I came from Korea and received my undergraduate degree and master degree in Korea. My undergraduate degree was in veterinary medicine and master degree in environmental health. I worked for the Korean Air Force as an industrial hygienist for 3 years.

What made you interested in the field of Industrial Hygiene?

During my undergraduate years, I was interested in social movements and seeking a non-clinical career. One of my friends introduced me the field of Industrial Hygiene and I decided to study on environmental health with an emphasis in Industrial Hygiene.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?

As an international student, I made my decision without any consideration on where I received my master or where I was living in. I was interested in metalworking fluids during my master years. My advisor at University of Minnesota was studying the same topic and received a fair amount of research grant when I applied for. I knew that University of Minnesota has excellent School of Public Health.

What would you say to a student considering the program?

This program is an excellent place for anyone interested in Industrial Hygiene including international students and the faculty of the program is very supportive of students.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 


Megan Torgrude (MPH)


Technical Service Engineer
3M Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division
St. Paul, MN

Describe your job-what do you do, what is a typical day like?

Our 3M division makes respirators, mainly for occupational use. Many of our customers are large manufacturers. I help customers use our products properly, and ensure new products we develop meet the customers' needs while meeting regulatory requirements. A typical day consists of the following:

* Problem solve and/or answer technical questions from end users or sales reps regarding respirator use and regulations
* Participate in team meetings for various product development projects
* Write technical documents for our website or product user instruction
* Deliver training to 3M personnel or 3M distributors
* Visit customers to assist them with product questions or concerns.

What do you think is the most important part of your job?

The most important part of my job is ensuring the proper use of our products.

What do you like about your job? What do you like least about your job?

My job is great for two reasons, the variety of work and the people I work with. I work with professionals who are good at what they do and I learn from them every day. The least favorite part of my job is probably desk duties. Unlike many industrial hygienists who are based in the field, I have to spend a considerable amount of time at my computer and on the phone so I enjoy visiting customers when I can.

What got you interested in this field?

I first became interested in health and safety while working at a clinical laboratory. I tested blood for a host of diseases, but mainly HIV. I joined the safety committee and eventually went to the U for a masters degree in Industrial Hygiene.

Where do you see yourself going in the future?

As long as I continue to learn and enjoy the challenge of coming to work, I plan to stay in my current position.

What did you gain from your University of Minnesota educational experience?

My education gave me a strong foundation of knowledge in the practice of industrial hygiene. It is impossible to learn everything you need to know in school, and I've found the contacts I made at the U are serving me well today. I regularly bounce questions off my classmates and I try to help them whenever I can.

What advice would you give someone just starting out in this field?

Use your network from the U and from your field experience, and continue to build your network throughout your career. Ask for help when you need it, and help others when you get the chance.

 

 


© 2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Contact U of M | Privacy
Last modified October 13, 2009
environmental health sciences school of public health university of minnesota one stop one stop one stop