When you think of a quintessential American, what do you picture? Perhaps a house in the suburbs? Or a family with two and a half kids? A golden retriever in a well-manicured front yard, Budweiser, Football, the list goes on. Admittedly, these are some of the stock images that come to my mind. However, when you really take time and think about what makes someone an American, a different set of images come into prominent focus.

When I search around me for the embodiment of “American”, I find a quiet, intelligent individual that works down the hall from me. His name is Chris. He is the kind of person who shows up every day and takes care of business. He doesn’t look for an ‘atta boy, he doesn’t try to be the center of attention. He quietly and effectively goes about his work, impressing coworkers not by his words, but by his actions.pilot plant engineer

It’s been my observation that Chris cares deeply about his work and will do whatever it takes to make his projects successful. It has recently become clear to me that he approaches life outside of EPIC similarly. This month Chris became a citizen of the United States of America, an achievement he pursued with passion and the same quiet, focused energy I see in him at work.

By no means was it an easy road for Chris. He had to overcome a lot to achieve his citizenship. Chris was born in raised in Iraq. Growing up, he attended the University of Technology in Bagdad and received his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering. As turmoil in the Middle East mounted, Chris made a decision to serve alongside US Marines acting as a translator for the US Military in the War on Terrorism.  Chris served honorably shoulder-to-shoulder alongside US troops, and was granted the ability to move to the United States upon the conclusion of his service.

Once in the States, Chris became an industry expert in HYSYS and Aspen Plus.  His skills in that area hav
e added value as a process engineer and pilot plant designer at multiple organizations including: The DOW Group, CM2H Hill, Aspen Technologies and Ambitech. He arrived at EPIC on January 12th of 2014, and hit the ground running as a Sr. Process DevelopmenCA Citizenship 1t Engineer focused on pilot plant scale up.

As I stated before, Chris will do whatever it takes to make his projects a success. His citizenship is a testament to that. On September 25, 2015 Chris Abduljabbar received his US Citizenship achieving a PERFECT score on his exam.  EPIC is proud to have Chris as a member of our pilot plant design team. We are equally proud to have him as a member of the United States of America.

These days, when I think of someone or something that is “American” I think of one who overcomes obstacles and adversity; one who does not look for a handout, but blazes their own trail to success.  Someone who does not take failure as an option. I think about the quiet, intelligent person that works down the hall from me. I think of Chris Abduljabbar.


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