Roger Lu, BS
Industrial Hygiene MPH Student (expected graduation 2015)
I received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis in 2010. After graduation, I began a job as a Health and Safety Specialist at Stanford University. I was primarily involved with supporting safety and compliance in research laboratories in both the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering. In that position, I was already advising workers on safety and compliance issues. Over time, however, I became interested in pursuing a career like that of my Industrial Hygienist manager which would allow me to use my scientific background to analyze and determine hazard risks, thereby making a greater impact on people’s lives by preventing workplace injuries and disease.
I applied to and was accepted into the Industrial Hygiene (IH) program at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health (UM SPH). While the reputation of the school and program were what drew me to apply in the first place, the welcoming environment which I experienced upon acceptance is one of the main reasons why I chose to attend. After being accepted into the program, Dr. Richard Neitzel called me to answer any questions I might have. Other universities didn’t reach out to me or display the level of faculty engagement which I experienced with UM SPH. This “welcoming factor” certainly made a difference in my choice of school.
I started my Master of Public Health degree in 2013 and I expect to graduate in May 2015. While I still have a year to go in my program, several experiences have stood out. The courses which I have taken thus far have provided me with exceptional hands-on technical training and the opportunity to bolster my analytical skills. Furthermore, through funding provided by COHSE, I had the opportunity this past June to attend the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s annual conference where I was able to hear about current IH research and network with others in the field.
In addition to my coursework, I have had the opportunity to continue to support laboratory safety and compliance through a part-time academic year position with the Department of Occupational Safety & Environmental Health at UM. I also had the opportunity to participate in an internship with BP this past summer. During my internship, I worked on several field sampling projects such as indoor air quality assessments, noise surveys, and heat stress monitoring. This gave me the opportunity to work with process engineers, process safety management teams, environmental specialists, safety advisors, as well as senior management. Most notably, this taught me the importance of transparent communication in my work.
After graduation, I will be joining BP to continue to prevent workplace contaminants and stressors. Ultimately, I hope to obtain an international position where I am able to assist companies in other countries with improving their safety practices. Graduates of UM’s IH program often push their own experiences forward by offering internships to current students; many even offer permanent positions. Additionally, UM alumni are always well represented at IH conferences. I’m excited to finish my degree, contribute to my community, and become one of these alumni that push the good will forward to future UM IH students.