Engineers at Ergon: Innovating Solutions for Customers Around the World

Fri., Sep 30, 2022 | Ergon

Changing the way we live through technology and service to people is at the heart of engineering and explains why engineers can be found throughout the Ergon organization. Across our business segments, Ergon is innovating solutions for people around the world, and roles are available for more engineers to help in this quest.

There’s Real Opportunity with Ergon
Ergon started seven decades ago with two employees. Today, four business segments comprising more than 60 companies are powered by over 3,500 employees around the world. Family owned and operated, the value Ergon places on its employees and on the communities where it operates is evident in the company mission of meeting needs, supporting families and serving customers. And Ergon has made a commitment to growing the pool of engineers in its home state.

Smoothing the Education-to-Workforce Pathway
A global community dependent on engineering is seeing students leave engineering for other career paths. Daunted by the rigors of engineering coursework, many students leave engineering majors prior to graduation. To combat this trend, Ergon has partnered with the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) as a sponsor of Summer Bridge, a residential experience designed to help underrepresented students bridge the transition from high school to college.

For five weeks, Summer Bridge aims to grow the pool of engineering graduates by providing newly admitted students with an integrated opportunity to develop academic and life skills critical to achieving success. A team-based engineering design project and site visits to Ergon facilities help students discover potential future engineering career paths. Peer mentoring, soft skills training and social activities are also part of the program that is fully funded by Ergon.

Engineers at Ergon
In a world that is increasingly interconnected, engineers are needed now more than ever. But it’s not their expertise alone that is needed to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. “We need their curiosity, too,” says Blaine Totty, Program Director for Ergon's Operational Excellence Department. “Ergon is a relationship-driven company that looks to the characteristics engineers typically have in addition to their expertise in a certain field. This allows them to move into a variety of areas,” said Blaine who holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from MSU. “Many engineers have a natural curiosity to learn new things, which is a real benefit when you come into an organization like Ergon. Combine that urge to know with the breadth of opportunities Ergon’s wide variety of businesses have to offer, and there’s no telling where your career path may take you,” he added.

And Blaine is not alone.

Where Skill Meets Opportunity
Chief Administrative Officer, Paul Young, earned his Chemical Engineering degree from MSU and his Environmental Engineering degree from the University of Mississippi and has served in a variety of roles during his 37 years with Ergon. He is responsible for oversight of corporate functions ranging from product stewardship to risk management.

Ergon’s Vice President of Product Stewardship, Bonnie Chapman, received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from MSU. Bonnie joined the company in 2011 as Ergon’s Refining Business Coordinator and was appointed to Director of Refinery Planning and Economics shortly thereafter. Bonnie now leads the team responsible for ensuring products are produced, utilized and managed at the end of life in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Incredibly active within Ergon, Bonnie leads the subcommittee responsible for Ergon’s sustainability initiatives, and serves as liaison to the MSU Engineering Summer Bridge Program.

Ergon’s President & Chief Executive Officer, Kris Patrick, started his career as the company’s first Chemical Engineering Co-Op. His roles have included Process Engineer; Senior VP of Refining, Planning and Supply; President of Ergon Refining and Ergon – West Virginia, and then Chief Operating Officer before being named President & CEO on October 1, 2022. Kris’ B.S. in Chemical Engineering was earned from MSU.

If you are interested in joining the Ergon family, we would love to hear from you. We are actively looking for project engineers, process engineers and maintenance engineers, just to name a few! For a list of current job openings, visit ergoncareers.com.

Article updated on February 19, 2024, to reflect new job titles and structural changes within Ergon.