University of Louisville Magazine

WINTER-SPRING 2018

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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WINTER/SPRING 2018 39 ndrea Wilson always wanted a career in the bourbon industry. With the resurgence of Kentucky's signature spirit, the UofL-trained chemical engineer was able to snag her dream job after nearly 20 years of working. Marianne Barnes also graduated from UofL with a chemical engineering degree. She expected to find work in biofuels, but instead is helping bring an abandoned Kentucky distillery back to life. Joyce Nethery used her chemical engineering training to work in indus- trial distilling, teach high school and become chief financial officer of a dairy farm. But when she combined her education with her passion for heirloom vegetables, she put a new Kentucky artisan distillery on the map. Katherine O'Nan will graduate in May with her degree in chemical engi- neering. Following in the footsteps of Wilson, Barnes and Nethery, she is poised for a promising career in an industry that 40 years ago wasn't on the radar for female graduates of UofL's J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Now, much to the delight of the women featured here, Speed School chemical engineering alumna are leading the charge in Kentucky's bourbon industry, taking their science-based education to the distilleries and labs across the state. "I sure hope that this boom in the bourbon industry attracts more young women to STEM careers," O'Nan said. "You've got to show the fun side of STEM coursework especially to young girls who often hear it's not for them. Making bourbon for a living is certainly a fun take on a chemical engineer's career." For a quartet of women chemical engineers, their bourbon trail is a pathway straight through the J.B. Speed School of Engineering to the upper ranks of the state's favorite industry. Janet Cappiello By

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