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SCA GO! Program Engineer Breanna Cornell’s exciting adventures on and off the job

2015-05-25 08:50

Breanna Cornell is a recent college graduate and talented engineer working in a paper mill at SCA’s location near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, US. She enjoys her job because she’s being exposed to new challenges all the time and – as she says – she’s always learning. In her spare time, Breanna runs ultramarathons and is training to run an uphill race through the deserts of California. 

What’s your career and education background?

I am a fairly recent grad from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. In one of my internships I worked in the largest open-pit copper mine in the US. I’m now currently working as a GO! Engineer at SCA’s tissue mill in Barton, Alabama.

What led you to SCA? 

I first learned about SCA at Michigan Tech’s career fair and was inspired by their sustainable products, focus on the environment and the fact that SCA is a global company and offers opportunities to travel and make connections around the world. I was also drawn by the way SCA invests in challenges such as the Volvo Ocean Race. After applying, several site visits and interviews, I felt that I would be a good fit for SCA’s values and that SCA’s culture would be a good fit for me. 

What do you like about working for SCA?

I like that I get to work with a diverse group of people every day that bring their background and skills to solve problems. I am always learning something new from my coworkers!

Describe a typical workday

As a GO! Engineer, I get to work in all parts of our manufacturing. Currently I’m working in my converting rotation, where we “convert” huge sheets of tissue into napkins and towels. I’m focusing on waste tracking and reduction. 

Every day offers something new. Most mornings I do a health check on the machines and analyze the waste tracking data from operators and the computer system from the previous day. I then present this in two different morning daily operation meetings.

Following that, I usually focus on what was prioritized within those meetings, which could be anything from problem solving to completing a quality check or safety observation, or helping on a machine outage. I also continuously work on longer term projects such as seeking improvements to our ink waste treatment system. 

What do you like best about your job?

I like the diversity of work that I am able to become involved in and that almost every project has taught me something, be it from how a machine or process operates or how to best execute a team project in a manufacturing environment, I am always learning. 

What do you like to do outside your work?

I am an avid runner and an ultra-marathoner.  Currently I’m training for the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, one of the toughest footraces in the world.  It’s a non-stop 135-mile uphill race through the California desert. It starts at Badwater Basin, 280 feet below sea level, and ends on Mt. Whitney, 8,300 feet above sea level. It goes through Death Valley in the heat of July, one of the hottest places on earth.  I am running to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helps people with physical disabilities who are unable to participate in sports activities, not for a lack of ambition or skill, but lack of funding and support they need. (To learn more or visit Breanna’s fundraising page, click here )

When I’m not running, I love to spend time drawing, playing violin and hiking with my dogs. I love exploring new trails and places, backpacking and camping, as well as volunteering at other running events. I love to spend as much time as possible outdoors.