Ijeoma Omelogu
PAA Superintendent
Koppers Inc.

“Manufacturing drives innovation and is crucial to economic growth. I have always loved STEM disciplines and manufacturing gives me a platform to apply these principles to create a product whose application is visible worldwide. Professionally, it also represents exciting challenges and affords me opportunities to implement new ideas and processes.”

After joining Koppers Inc. in 2015 as an entry-level supervisor, IJeoma (IJ) quickly advanced to Superintendent of the Phthalic Anhydride (PAA) plant which produces approximately 160 million pounds of product and $75 million in revenue per year. She has since increased production by 20 percent while greatly reducing the amount of waste generated. IJ is focused on ensuring that the community and environment are not impacted by her plant, and understands her responsibility to operate a chemical manufacturing plant in an environmentally-responsible manner. In addition to keeping the facility within budget each year, IJ was responsible for a bi-annual maintenance outage that lasted over 40 days and involved the work of more than 100 employees and contractors.

Actively managing Koppers’ Safety, Health & Environmental (SH&E) management system, IJ has achieved zero incidents and accidents in her plant. Recognized for her leadership by executive management, she was selected to participate in Koppers’ Leadership Forum (KLF)—a year-long program for high-potential managers. IJ also represents Koppers at the Morton College where she educates high school students on the importance of careers in manufacturing, while focusing on Koppers’ processes and products. She intends to advance her formal education by enrolling in an MBA program in a Chicago-area University in the near future.

With a goal of paying forward the kindness which has been bestowed upon her, IJ has a heartfelt need to provide others with the same type of assistance that she has received. Throughout high school and college, IJ devoted countless hours to tutoring students, and today spends time with junior high school students to encourage them to stay motivated and succeed in their education. She intends to one day return to her childhood neighborhood to inspire students to accomplish their dreams and be an example of what is possible—even when coming from humble beginnings. In addition to mentoring children, IJ volunteers at Chicago’s Hesed House and has led fundraising efforts within her plant for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

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