An engineer, an entrepreneur and a mother — Lorraine Green exemplifies what it means to be a woman leading in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). From her unique background in her education to founding her own environmental consulting firm, Green’s lucrative yet unconventional career path has ultimately led to her success in the Energy Industry and to her position as the first female president of Pond & Company, an architecture, engineering, planning and construction firm. What nontraditional route did this woman in STEM take to become a pioneer in her profession?
Green’s story begins with her undergraduate studies at Tech where she received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1984. Although manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and paper make up a majority of the chemical engineering industry, Green has over 30 years of experience in the energy sector.
After graduation, she found her passion for the energy industry after accepting her first full-time position at an environmental engineering firm and has never looked back since. At this company, Green learned the ropes of both field and design work within the scopes of multiple energy related projects.
“I felt that my engineering degree was less of a measure of my chemical engineering knowledge, but more as an affirmation of my own competency,” Green explained. “With a rigorous academic background from Georgia Tech, I was able to prove to my employers that I could think critically, and problem solve — skills that are invaluable to any job position … Given the tools that Georgia Tech provides, you can achieve anything.”
The next chapter of Green’s story begins after gaining six years of experience at the environmental engineering firm. After getting her hands dirty in the field and applying this knowledge in the design phase, Green had built up enough expertise to start her own environmental firm. In 1990, Green divulged her inner entrepreneurship and started her own environmental corrosion engineering company called Green Environmental & Corrosion, Inc. For almost two decades, Green served as the president and chief engineer of her own firm, all while raising two children. Much like the way she loved and cared for her sons, Green was equally committed to nourishing and growing her company. Owning her own company allowed her to do what she loved, all while refining her technical expertise as well as catapulting her business judgement.
The next defining feature of Green’s career is her continued education in the technical field. Even though she had a background in chemical engineering, Green saw environmental engineering as an avenue of improving the world around her. She wanted to continue to develop her expertise in this field and decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. “Although the seemingly intuitive next step was to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree, I felt that I had sufficient business knowledge from owning my own business, so I decided to further my own technical expertise to advance my career,” Green said.
Currently, Green uses her business and technical experience as she serves as the President of Pond & Company, where she is responsible for the operational aspects of the organization, program development and staff development and overseeing sales and technical output of the company.
Green has been featured in multiple media outlets and recognized as an industry leader and expert. In a 2018 issue of Engineering Georgia, Lorraine Green was named one of Georgia’s “Most Influential Women to Know.”
What students can take away from Green’s story is that being open-minded, passionate and dedicated is a recipe for a successful career.