About Us

November Member Spotlight – Monica Hernandez (Formosa Plastics)

Monica has her BS in Chemical Engineering from Texas A & M University Kingsville, and her MS in Environmental Engineering from Texas A&M University, Kingsville. She received her Master’s degree while being a full time parent of two toddlers. In 2007, she became a Chlorine Area Engineer at Formosa Plastics. Her responsibilities included bleach production area startup, expansion and optimization and hydrochloric acid production expansion.

CI: When did you first become involved at CI?

I have been attending CI meetings for 6 years. Some of the work I’ve been fortunate to participate in are:     

  • HCL pamphlet review,
  • Pamphlet 6 review,
  • Bleach White paper,
  • Spanish translations,
  • HESS IT,
  • LOPA producer technical exchange,
  • PHA Cl2 producer technical exchange.

CI: What is something interesting about you that few would know or guess?

Graduate school research was done on constructed wetlands using black mangroves and Spartina alterniflora (endemic species to the South Texas Gulf Coast) to filter aquaculture-simulated water.  The system was evaluated using plug flow and Continuously Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) reactor design principles. Black mangroves were specially grown for the study. These are protected species due to their ability to filter water.

I use engineering and chemistry principles, heat transfer and maillard reaction concepts, to roast specialty coffee and enhance the flavors. Life is too short to drink bad coffee!

I find Neuroscience fascinating and have used Neuroergonomics principles to evaluate situations at work. The body is a marvelous mechanism!

I have been studying the science behind Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and practicing for two years to improve concentration and stress management abilities in an effort to improve overall human performance, with success!  

CI: Tell us about your favorite CI memory or success story. Why are you a member?

One of the best parts of being a CI member is listening, learning and interacting with leaders from very diverse organizations. The work ethic and determination of CI staff is outstanding. Who organizes a virtual conference in two weeks, all in the middle of a pandemic? Not to mention all the information sharing. Thank you, CI!

I also enjoyed working with a great team during the COVID-19 pandemic to develop the Hydrogen Pamphlet.

CI represents the principles we believe in as a company, such as safety and environmental sustainability. Professionals carry part of the ethical responsibility of ensuring adequate guidelines are developed to care for ourselves, our co-workers, our communities and the environment. The knowledge we acquire through the years should be used for a higher purpose and thus sharing the knowledge with CI means it has the potential to enrich other people’s lives. 

CI: What advice do you have for early career professionals in the chlor-alkali industry?

My advice would be to:

  1. Spend time reading the pamphlets,
  2. Participate in pamphlet reviews and updates (they apply to your facility and are used by auditors as sources of RAGAGEP),
  3. Encourage others in your facility to participate in pamphlet reviews,
  4. Share your experiences (but do consult with your management first),
  5. Talk to other CI members and ask questions,
  6. Try to attend as many meetings as possible, these are great learning opportunities,
  7. Volunteer to lead member exchanges or give presentations.
     

Every meeting or teleconference I attend with Monica, she is fully present, generous with sharing her expertise and experience, and open to others’ viewpoints. Monica takes the time to explore a question and never rushes the safety and security information sharing. It is clear she has taken knowledge she has gained from her CI interactions and applied to her facility and brings back her own experiences to share with other CI members. We are lucky to have members like Monica!”

 – Robyn Brooks, VP, HESS (CI)