Women in Coolings:
I was born on a Potato farm in rural Eastern Idaho. I had the great opportunity to grow up seeing food a way of life, and not just something you pick up at the grocery store. I remember as a kid throwing dirt clods at cows, feeding pigs in the stalls, and helping my uncle hook up the milking machine to the cows. My first experience with refrigeration was with the milk cooler after spending some time milking the cows. At the time I just thought it was really cool to hook up the suction cups to the cows and see how the equipment worked, but I was more concerned with the $.25 I made to buy candy. My second experience with refrigeration was in the potato cellars after helping with the harvest of potatoes. I learned a lot about the importance of temperature and humidity control in longevity of potato storage. My family left the farming community during the 80’s downturn but I still carry those valuable life lessons of growing up on the farm.
I went to school at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. I focused on Mechanical engineering as my strongest subjects were always heat transfer and thermal systems. I was able to secure a job after college in Menomonie, WI working for Cardinal Glass at a float glass manufacturing facility. I was responsible for the design and construction of new facilities and worked mainly on the “hot end” of the furnace. Melting glass at ~1500 Celsius and getting to be hands on with the equipment, wearing fire proof clothing and using welding masks to look into the furnace was an absolutely great experience. I learned a ton about the cooling process as well. We used an annealing lehr to cool the glass slowly over a mile long conveyor system to eliminate thermal stresses in the glass.
I missed my roots back in Idaho and moved back to work in NAND and DRAM manufacturing at Micron. I learned a lot about radiative heat transfer working on thermal diffusion furnaces. We utilized an evacuated quartz tube drown down to vacuum with various chemicals and radiative heat applied to grow oxide layers and other films on the silicon wafers. I was responsible for programming the “recipes” to balance chemical flows, heat and cooling process to optimize film thickness and minimize defects.
Later, I decided to shift gears back to the cooling side of the world. I worked at Albertsons as a Manager helping with Research and Development and implementation of new technologies. I loved this role in designing new systems and promoting natural refrigerants as a way forward in the cooling industry for Supermarkets. I was involved in the first Ammonia / Co2 System deployed on a grocery store in Carpinteria, CA, as well as many other sustainabili