ExxonMobil senior chemical engineer gives public kudos to Vanderbilt, McCabe

ExxonMobil senior chemical engineer Jessica Haley (PhD’15) gave very public kudos to both Professor Clare McCabe and Vanderbilt University for helping redirect her into a career she loves.

ExxonMobil featured a question-and-answer with Haley in a Sept. 8 Wall Street Journal insert highlighting Universum’s top 100 employers.

As a child struggling with asthma, Haley wanted to pursue solutions to manage and cure that disease, she said.

“When I enrolled at Vanderbilt University, my interests changed slightly after studying under one of the nation’s leading chemical engineers, Dr. Clare McCabe,” she said. “I fell in love with research and decided to pursue engineering. Research empowers people to have significant impacts on society.


“Research captivated me so much that I decided to pursue my PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, focusing on Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibrium of Complex Fluids – that’s basically characterizing and predicting the state of fluids under a given sets of conditions.”

While at Vanderbilt, Haley also simultaneously earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s degree in environmental engineering, plus worked for three years as a Tennessee Titans cheerleader. She ranked No. 3 of the top 100 NFL cheerleaders in the 2013-14 season.

McCabe, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of graduate studies for that department, said she was flattered by Haley’s comments.

“Jessica was a terrific student, very professional in every way,” she said. “I am confident that we will be hearing great things about Jessica for many years to come. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her at Vanderbilt and hope to have more opportunities in the future.”

Read the full Q&A with Haley here.


Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
On Twitter @VUEngineering