Family connections drew Doug Jakubowicz to Trine University and an engineering career. Today his work helps protect the planet for future generations.
Doug got a firsthand look at engineering growing up, since his father worked as an electrical engineer. The Project Lead the Way courses he took in high school cemented his desire to go into engineering.
"Trine taught me the methodology to be able to adapt to any challenge."- Doug Jakubowicz
“Doing more research about all of the diverse fields one can go into with a chemical engineering degree, I decided to merge my passion for math and science with my passion for chemistry,” he said.
His brother attended Trine, and Doug was able to visit him at the university several times. As he learned more about its generous financial aid, strong great engineering program and small class sizes, Doug decided Trine was the right place for him.
The university helped him find a summer internship after his junior year at the POET Biorefining facility in Portland, Indiana. The company, one of the world's largest producers of ethanol and other biorefined products, develops natural, renewable food sources and alternatives to petrochemicals.
After Doug finished his chemical engineering degree in 2016, a plant engineer position opened up at the same plant and the company hired him full-time.
“I learned and picked up the ethanol industry quickly,” he said.
Three years later, he accepted a promotion to plant manager at the company’s North Manchester, Indiana, facility. In that role, he oversees the plant and is in charge of maintaining production levels.
“I have amazing operations, maintenance and material handling teams that report to me that make it all happen,” he said. “I get to lead capital projects, debottleneck the process, develop team members, ensure environmental permit compliance, optimize the process to operate efficiently, and do engineering projects.
“Every day is unique as the plant manager, and really I am able to get my hands into almost every aspect of the business.”
Doug said his Trine education, which included elements such as heat transfer, mass balance and pump sizing calculations, gave him the foundation to succeed as a plant engineer.
“Trine taught me the methodology to be able to adapt to any challenge,” he said. “Trine also offers numerous clubs and organizations where I was able to take leadership roles that have helped prepare me for the manager position I am in today.”