Clare M. Sollars
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering - Food Engineering
Washington Court House, OH
In February of 2020, Clare Sollars attended the Midwest Regional Rally through the student organization American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). This rally brought students from different institutions together who had majors similar to Ohio State’s Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) major. Clare’s specialization of Food Engineering is a smaller program, and she had not yet had the opportunity to interact with many food engineering students as an undergraduate. However, this rally connected her to numerous students interested in impacting the world’s food supply with engineering methods. She also visited several food companies and was able to tour the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus. It was fascinating to her to see how another university developed their program. Clare networked with many young professionals on this trip and, overall, considered it a great experience that allowed her to learn about different opportunities in the food industry.
Clare participated in the Aspiration for Women’s Advancement and Retention in Engineering and Sciences (AWARES) mentoring program, where she was paired with a female professional working in a STEM field. They met over the course of two semesters to discuss career planning and advancement, interview strategies, conflict resolution, building a network, and being a minority in a male-dominated field. It was enjoyable for Clare to build a strong relationship with a mentor in the industry who had gone through many relatable experiences. She also met with other mentees to discuss what advice and perspective they were given by other professionals. It was rewarding and inspiring for Clare to see how so many young women, like herself, had become leaders within their field.
The summer after her sophomore year, Clare was excited to begin the challenge of a six-month co-op at Abbott Nutrition, working in packaging research and development. She was immersed in a new environment and assisting in an area that she did not have a great deal of experience in at the time. Since then, Clare has had the opportunity to work in four other departments at Abbott Nutrition and has learned from every experience, finding it rewarding to work with other people who are just as passionate about the food industry. Her projects ranged from implementing new lab methods, developing a new product formulation, redesigning a global quality assurance process, issuing recommendations for commercialization, and having the opportunity to travel across the United States to conduct engineering studies. She has also gained a global perspective from working with cross-functional teams in Ireland, Singapore, and the Netherlands. She has found a sense of success in leading projects and implementing new methods. Her input and knowledge were necessary in every position she held and confirmed that she was valued as a contributing member of each team.
Clare graduates in December of 2021. She hopes to begin work in the food industry but is still evaluating her options. This summer she is interning with Abbott Nutrition.
Service, involvement, and accolades: FABE Mentor Program | American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers, social director and secretary