Former Lehigh volleyball outside hitter, now staff engineer at Energy Transfer, seeks to inspire young women engineers

Chemical engineering alum and former Lehigh volleyball star Rochelle Healea Sheridan '03 works in the oil and gas industry. 

As a staff engineer for Energy Transfer, based at the company's Marcus Hook Terminal in Pennsylvania, she hopes to be a source of inspiration for young women looking to take a similar path.

"I support several process units here," she says. "We receive Natural Gas Liquids (ethane, propane, butane and natural gasoline) by truck, rail, ship or pipeline. Some of our process units use distillation columns to separate the chemicals and then we either refrigerate them and put them on ships, or the chemicals are loaded onto trucks or sent out by pipeline. My job as a process engineer is to make sure our units operate most efficiently, safely, and environmentally friendly."
Sheridan's job includes plenty of teamwork—with some individual field work as well.
"As a process engineer, I review the units in the morning," she says. "I can actually see the whole process unit right at my computer; I can see the flows, the temperatures, and the pressure. If I see something that needs to be adjusted, I might call our shift supervisor or console supervisor to make the adjustment right there on the unit.

Sheridan's interest in science began at a young age, so she isn't surprised by where she is today.

 "I've always loved math and science," she said. "I was really blessed at our high school to have some engineers come in and present. I was so inspired by the fact that they could make a new product or make a process safer or more environmentally friendly."

That inspiration helped Sheridan on a path towards engineering. When she entered Lehigh, she was questioned if she could handle balancing being a Division I student-athlete with the rigors of a challenging engineering curriculum.
"The professor who challenged me actually became my advisor," Sheridan says. "He set this stack of engineering books in front of me and asked if I was sure I could do chemical engineering and Division I volleyball. My answer was yes, I'm sure. I was sure I wanted to be at Lehigh and knew I could do this. I was going to work really hard to make it happen.
"That challenge has stayed with me my whole career, especially as a woman in engineering," she continues. "You don't always find a lot of women in the field. I'm blessed here at Energy Transfer that we have a lot of women in our construction and projects group."

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Story by Justin Lafleur, Lehigh Sports Communications

Rochelle Healea

Photo courtesy of

"Lehigh helped me so much because as a team player, you learn your role. I was an outside hitter, so my job was to not only pass the ball to the setter, but also get outside and be ready to hit. When you learn your role on a team, it carries over into your role at work.
Chemical engineering alum and former Lehigh volleyball star Rochelle Healea Sheridan '03