Page 1

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!


Vol VIII, issue XI











allex newsletter • 2700 post oak blvd • houston, tx 77056 • 713.624.8000

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!

Vol VIII, issue XI

ALLEX Editorial Hey everyone! We decided to add a new feature to the newsletter. I will be using this area to clue you in on what’s going on both in the world of engineering outside of Air Liquide as well as changes within the company or the ALLEX program. If you have something you would like to read more about then let me know and I’ll get on it. Today’s topic for thought? Social Media. The engineering industry was built by people highly trained in technical thought and complicated equations. In the



Ridin’ Dirty


Arc Flash Hazard Analysis


On The Move


Alumnus Spotlight


Cowboy Stadium




Event Calendar

last decade the culture has been dramatically changed by technology with computer programs performing difficult calculations and an increased sharing of knowledge due to the internet. So where is the industry headed now? The industry’s recent adaptation to technolog y and its trends leads to the newest trend in technology these days…Blogs.


right, social sites like Facebook and Twitter are starting to infiltrate the engineering industry. Companies are posting Facebook pages to aid in recruitment and creating entire departments to answer Tweets. Social sites like these allow everyone to interact on the same level. This creates a sense of approachability for both customers and employees. Several businesses are buying into the concept and have started their own forums.

One company created a forum to address concerns of

unhappy bloggers and to provide alternate solutions. They “guard the brand” by offering a site for customers to post comments both good and bad where they can control the information and reduce the amount of inaccuracies. So the question becomes: Is the industry “meeting the customers where they are” or is it loosing control?

allex newsletter • 2700 post oak blvd • houston, tx 77056 • 713.624.8000

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!

Vol VIII, issue XI

Ridin’ Dirty I am certain that this Thanksgiving holiday, each of you will ponder the same question: How on Earth am I going to get that sweet pecan pie all the way back home to Mom without a scratch? While the TSA may not allow cologne, cranberry sauce, maple syrup, salad dressing, snowglobes or salsa through security, rest assured, you can definitely carry that pecan pie onto the plane unscathed! (Please note: The TSA’s website does state that pies may be subjected to “additional screening.”) So this month, as the holiday travel season kicks off, unzip that laptop bag, stash those liquids and remember a couple of the following tips to get you home and eating unnecessary quantities of pie in no time. For those planning to be productive this holiday, you will be happy to know that it is now easier to travel with a laptop. The TSA now accepts “security friendly” laptop bags. Oh yes, that is correct – there is a bag out there that the TSA will let you

merely unzip on the x-ray machine. It allows security workers to have an unobstructed view of the laptop and ensure that it has not been tampered with. Now you can zip through that security line and get to your gate that much faster. For more information, please check out: http:// w w w. t s a . g o v / p re s s / h a p p e n i n g s / simplifying_laptop_bag_procedures.shtm. In terms of checked items, if you choose to lock you bags, try to select a lock that is marked as approved by the TSA. They have worked with many companies to design locks that can be opened by officers with a master key and will result in them not having to cut your lock. These compatible locks can be found just about anywhere and will save you from the despair of finding your bag cut open and rifled through. Another important thing to remember is that unless you want the TSA to go off like Ralphie looking for his Red Ryder BB gun, do not wrap any of your presents before you fly. If you do, they will most likely have to be opened and inspected to make sure that they have not been tampered with and that they are not hazardous. Additionally, make sure you do not raise any other red flags by trying to take open

food through the security line. Anything you purchase past the checkpoint can be taken on board the aircraft, which allows you plenty of Duty Free shopping and Big Mouth Burgers from Chili’s To-Go for the plane ride home. Plenty more information about safe air travel and what may or may not be taken on an airplane can be found on the TSA website ( While some of the measures taken can seem a bit excessive or unnecessary, remember these rules and regulations are in place for your safety. So just to recap, when you’re packing your things this holiday season, don’t forget to leave the gravy and jam at home and bring some pie home for your Mom. -- Krishna Punwasi

Arc Flash Hazard Analysis Any ALLEX around the Houston area is well aware that the majority of my work consists of conducting arc flash studies. Even the few brave ones that have asked me about arc flash haven’t gotten much more than an incoherent string of words put together so that the person asking me the question had no idea what I was talking about; sometimes I don’t even know. I am going to be explaining arc flash in

terms that can be understood by people who aren’t quite Mensa level. Circuit breakers, fuses, and relays are the main protective devices in an electrical system. These devices are meant

allex newsletter • 2700 post oak blvd • houston, tx 77056 • 713.624.8000

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!

Vol VIII, issue XI

ALLEX to cut the power to certain pieces of equipment whenever a short circuit occurs. An infinite amount of current exists in a short circuit, so our goal is to keep this current from reaching the motor. Current has to travel through a breaker/ relay combination or a fuse before it gets to the motor. If an overcurrent condition occurs, the relay will realize this and open the circuit breaker, or the fuse will blow. This creates an “open” circuit that cuts off power to the motor. When the breaker opens, there is still a huge amount of current on one side of the breaker, and it wants to travel somewhere, preferably to ground. This makes the current really angry, kind of like when your parents wouldn’t let you go hang out with the cool kids at the Dairy Queen parking lot when you were younger! Sometimes we still snuck out, and current is no different than a pre-pubescent middle schooler. Current takes a different approach than tying the bed sheets together and climbing out of the window to get to ground. Instead, it ionizes the air around itself, creating a conductive path for current to flow. If the current is strong enough, the ionized air will continue to expand, releasing an uncanny amount of incident energy. The flash can get so hot that it melts all of the metal into plasma. This is called arc blast. A blast on even a 480V piece of

switchgear can blow plasma and shrapnel all up in somebody’s grill, forcing them to cancel their Sunday four some at Memorial Golf Course for the rest of their life.

We measure incident energy in cal/sq cm, and 40 cal/sq cm is the maximum amount that can be sustained in our flash suits. Believe me, wearing these suits at Bayport in July is not a fun time. Since I need to gain the respect of our high voltage techs, sometimes the situation dictates that I put on one of these suits and rack out a circuit breaker with them. This is not a bad thing until I realize that I don’t have a dry

change of drawers waiting for me afterward. My job is to recognize when and where these conditions can exist, and do my best to contain them before they actually occur. Through one-line diagrams and plant visits, I am able to create a model in our SKM software that simulates a plant’s entire electrical system. I input nameplate data from all of the equipment into my model, and then I push the “Easy” button in SKM. It calculates the possible short circuit currents that can occur in all of the equipment. My boss sometimes does these calculations by hand just to show me how easy us kids have it these days. After determining the problem points, I figure out how to lower the arc flash rating to a safe level. Keep in mind that this is only a basic description of arc flash, and it took me this long to explain it. There are many more details involved in these studies. Don’t hesitate to ask if you really want to know what we electrical engineers actually do besides talk about imaginary power, which actually does exist by the way. -Eric Ginn

On The Move Matt Sibley will be starting his next rotation with the MRPL Reliability Center in Baton Rouge. Laith Stuart is headed back to Houston for a rotation in the Oil and Gas Markets. Paul Jantzen is working for Large Industries on a mix of projects for the ASU, Cogen, and SMR.

allex newsletter • 2700 post oak blvd • houston, tx 77056 • 713.624.8000

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!

Vol VIII, issue XI

Alumnus Spotlight - Angela Doray

Tell me a little about yourself and how you got started with Air Liquide?

I attended the University of Texas and graduated with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and a minor in business. While attending a career fair, I bumped into Rosa Baker (former ALLEX) who was at the Air Liquide booth and she shared with me her experiences interning with AL. During the job application process, I interviewed with 10 different companies and ultimately the offers came down to Air Liquide and International Paper. I was sold on Air Liquide after my talk with Rosa and thought that the rotational experience would be worthwhile. Could you briefly describe your rotations during the ALLEX program?

I was actually hired as a direct hire as an equipment specialist into the business development group with an emphasis on industrial computing. At the time, I was working for the Industrial group when they and the cylinder group were one entity. After the position was eliminated for economic reasons, I was offered a position within the ALLEX program. For my first assignment, I remained in the business development group where one of my big assignments was to roll out a product line called ALPHATech, which included organizing trade shows and campaigns to distribute the new product line. Next I worked with the medical group in ALPC troubleshooting plant projects such as a cooling fan issue at the Bayport facility. My next rotation was with the DMOS5 facility in Dallas with a focus on cost savings and efficiency projects;

essentially my role was a reliability engineer for the facility. After my stint with electronics, I moved on to the zone engineering group at Bayport where my projects included troubleshooting plant projects which included LOX filter vent protection and the daily BEET meeting macro. Finally, I returned to the group with the industrial business unit basically learning the equipment specialist role and assuming those responsibilities. What roles and responsibilities have you had since completion of the program?

I have remained with the equipment team since I completed the program and one advantage with my role as equipment specialist is that I get immersed in many aspects of the Industrial business line. A unique aspect of my role is that I also perform supply management duties such as serving as a buyer for Air Liquide for equipment and services. I have to really attribute my knowledge and success to Andrew Garnett and Fred Schweighardt, who have served as mentors for me within the Industrial group. They have brought my skill set to where it is at today and have guided me along the way as I have become more proficient in the industrial gas lines such as automotive, food and beverage, as well as the technical sales group which provides equipment and services for our customers. How did you go about getting the role you wanted after the program

and was there a rotation that led you in that direction?

I am an exception because this role was somewhat predetermined for me upon accepting my offer since I spent time in the equipment group as a direct hire. Dave Mudd was the business partner for Industrial at the time, so after speaking with him and expressing my interests in the equipment side and learning the needs of the group, I accepted a role as equipment specialist within the business development group. What are your fondest memories while in the ALLEX program?

The people in Air Liquide are amazing, they care about you and that remained constant from rotation to rotation. One of the guys I met along the way established an email list serve upon retiring so he could stay in touch with old colleagues. That is one of many examples of the sincerity that people in Air Liquide possess. What are your immediate and long term career goals?

I have been patient with my short term goals, considering the cur rent economic climate, but while on maternity leave, I had the opportunity to complete my project management professional certification. I am considering pursuing an MBA and possibly getting an international assignment but at the moment, I hope that my future role would be similar in project management type responsibilities.

allex newsletter • 2700 post oak blvd • houston, tx 77056 • 713.624.8000

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!

Vol VIII, issue XI

ALLEX The best career advice you have been given is:

How would you sell the ALLEX program to recent college graduates?

You must have a work life balance and determine what is most important to you. Take it one step at a time and do what is right for you and not what you think is right for others. Do not miss out on the important things like your family and friends.

The ALLEX program is a fantastic networking tool and as a young engineer right out of college, it is the absolute best thing you could do to develop your career. You will learn after spending time in the workforce, the ability to network and learn things from people you meet can help you

eventually find out what you want to do as a profession. What other advice would you like to share with current ALLEX?

Change doesn’t happen unless you make it happen; if the process is inefficient, then go out and make the process more efficient! -Brandon Day

Cowboys Stadium Boasting a maximum capacity of 112,000 and the largest HD screen in the world, the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas is now the largest NFL football stadium and dome stadium in the world. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, managed to construct the most technologically advanced stadium in the true Texas fashion – big. Featuring a retractable roof larger than the footprint of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the stadium did not come cheap for

from hosting the annual Cotton Bowl Classic, the 2009 and 2010 Big 12 Championship and the 2011 Super Bowl, the stadium will also be home to the 2010

football, unless you're trying to hit the scoreboard, you punt the ball to get downfield…and you sure don't punt the ball down the middle. You punt it off to the side.” Perhaps Jones should get out there

the city of Arlington. The project was originally estimated at $650M, but nearly tripled in

NBA All-Star Game and the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, among other sporting events and concerts.

and show the boys how it’s done.

cost to $1.8B, with the city of Arlington providing $933M in funding, the NFL $150M and

Despite all the planning and preparations that went into building the stadium, all did not go off without a hitch. During the

Jones kindly picking up the slack. The original budget seems laughable, considering Jones would settle for nothing less than

first preseason game at the new stadium, the Tennessee Titans punter hit the mammoth video screen, resulting in a r e p l a y o f t h e d o w n . Jo n e s w a s

the biggest and finest stadium for his team and their fans.

subsequently criticized for building such a large display that interferes with game play. He pled innocence, saying the

Regardless of distractions, the 11,000 ft2 video screen that stretches between the 20 yard lines remains the most impressive feature of the

However, the stadium will prove to be a desirable destination not just for Cowboys fans. Aside

screen was within league specifications, and defended his expensive new toy saying: “If you look at how you punt the

Cowboys new home. With 30 million LEDs, the new scoreboard cost $35M, slightly more than the Cowboys’ previous home - Texas Stadium – cost

allex newsletter • 2700 post oak blvd • houston, tx 77056 • 713.624.8000

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!

Vol VIII, issue XI

ALLEX to build. The scoreboard is a true treat for fans, especially those in the nosebleed seats. Even for the worst seats, the display is better than watching a 60” HDTV in your living room and is the equivalent to over 750-63” HDTVs. Asked whether he would raise

Cowboys Stadium has two retractable roof panels to allow natural light into the stadium. Furthermore, there are two retractable end zone doors, which span 120 x 180 ft. and provide sunlight, ventilation and panoramic views to fans.

the scoreboard to keep it out of play, Jones declined, leaving it to the NFL to deal with. At a cost of at least $2M to raise the scoreboard, it is unlikely for this to happen soon.

A spectacular sight, and technological marvel, the new Cowboys Stadium is worth a visit, but it’ll cost you. At a minimum of $100 a

Additionally, the stadium has the ability to use three different types of turf - one each for high school/college football, pro football and

seat and $75 for parking, it will not be cheap to see the Cowboys play any team this season. But, just as Jerry Jones sees it, you have to pay to play the game, so cowboy up!

soccer – the first of its kind. As a tribute to the old Texas Stadium,

-Zach Hartman

Classic Rock. The Count of Monte Cristo.

ALLEX 10 with Michael Juarez Q1. Tell us about what you’ve done so far at Air Liquide. I started off with Large Industries' (sponsoring entity) Energy/Cogen group, where I did analysis on the energy market and helped form strategies for selling and purchasing power in the Houston area electricity grid. From there, I joined the CO2 manufacturing group (IM) and helped design dry ice production lines. I am currently with the Project Engineering Group (Electronics), participating in the design of bulk gas systems. Q2. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced at Air Liquide? Adjusting to the unique dynamics of each group I’ve had a rotation with. Every group I’ve worked has it’s own personality which effects how they interact with each other, other employees, approach problems and react to various situations. Being aware of, and adjusting to, those intricacies goes a long way to determining success within a rotation. Q3. What are you most proud of ? Myself.

Q5. People who know you would say… “I wanna be, I wanna be Like Mike Oh, if I could Be Like Mike” Q6. Guilty pleasure? Double stuffed Oreos. Q7. When you are not working, what do you do? Photography, basketball, P90X...anything that gets me out or moving. Q8. Name one thing you’d like employees to know about you. I always accept a challenge. Q9. Favorite word or phrase. “Homey don’t play dat” Q10. Any advice to the newer ALLEX? Don’t be shy.

Valerie Leclerc - Editor Michael Juarez - Layout Krishna Punwasi - Sr. Writer Eric Ginn Brandon Day Zack Hartman



Q4. Favorite TV Show / Music / Book? The Simpsons (all time) & Dexter (recently)

The ALLEX newsletter is a monthly publication containing answers to frequently asked questions, biographies of ALLEX engineers, information on rotation opportunities, as well as entertaining and insightful facts and events. To submit an idea, or join the staff, please contact Valerie Leclerc. If you would like more information regarding hosting an ALLEX engineer, please contact your HRBP or Tiffany Holub.

N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 9!

Vol VIII, issue XI



ALLEX Newsletter  

Nov 2009 - michael juarez

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you