Alumnus Brian Otten Profile

Catch up with a member of the 2014 graduating class.

Brian Otten Headshot

Brian Otten graduated from Purdue University in 2014 with a BSEEE and since then has been working as an Environmental Consultant for Trinity Consultants in Cincinnati, OH. His primary responsibilities have been assisting clients with air permitting, air dispersion modeling, and emission inventory development. Last year Otten was promoted to senior consultant. More importantly though, since graduation he got married, purchased a home, and recently welcomed a son and daughter into the world.

Since the vast majority of Otten’s job is accomplished by making phone calls and working at a desk, it was fairly easy for him to transition to working from home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of his clients, on the other hand, have been impacted to varying degrees. Some produce toilet paper and are trying to operate their machines as fast as possible while still adhering to regulatory requirements, while others are considering a temporary shutdown of their facilities. Additionally, these unprecedented times have pushed back reporting deadlines and placed some regulatory requirements on hiatus indefinitely. The constantly changing conditions have been difficult to keep up with, but the team of consultants he works with have been able to take it in stride.

When applying for an entry level consultant position, Otten found that the subject matter taught in Professor Jacko’s course on air pollution control and design and Professor Ridgway’s course on regulatory compliance both overlapped very well with the knowledge that was required of him. “More broadly, however, the EEE program as a whole guided the development of my communication, time management, and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in my position,” Otten said.

Otten’s advice to current EEE students is to go to career fairs early and often. Take advantage of career fairs (once quarantine is lifted) even if they are geared towards a different major. You may find that recruiters are willing to talk about other open positions that would be better suited for a EEE major. These fairs are great opportunities to practice talking with recruiters, answering their questions, and to build your confidence. Being able to communicate your expertise is just as important as having the knowledge in the first place.

We asked Brian to finish this sentence: EEE is the kind of school where… His response was: EEE is the kind of school where engineers are trained to innovate the environmental solutions of tomorrow.