Throughout her career, Amy Hooper has held many traditional engineering roles, ranging from process improvement to technical staff. Roughly 15 years ago, she moved into a leadership role at Eastman Chemical Co., and since then, she has served several manufacturing leadership roles.
"In 2019, I led Eastman's hydrocarbon cracking plant through a multimillion-dollar planned shutdown to ensure the plant's safety, mechanical integrity, reliability. A few years later, in February 2021, I led the shutdown and recovery of that plant during the deadly winter storm in Texas, which left large parts of the state without power for over a week," said Hooper, who graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering.
"My first foray into plastics goes back to when Eastman owned polyethylene assets in Longview, Texas. I worked with its customer base to improve and troubleshoot products," she said. "One of the things that has always fascinated me about this industry is that plastics touch a part of everyone's everyday life."
As manufacturing director, Hooper's responsibilities include "representing the Longview site in the competitive selection process to become the country's next polyester renewal technology process plant."
"Polyester renewal technology is a type of methanolysis, which is vital to enabling a circular economy. This process, a form of molecular recycling (or advanced recycling), converts polyester materials back to their compound building blocks, which in turn creates high-grade materials for product performance and quality and diverts waste plastics from landfills (as opposed to incineration or other forms of advanced recycling). … If Longview is selected as the site for the new methanolysis facility, I would be involved as the director of methanolysis manufacturing."
Hooper was a recipient of the 2023 Women MAKE Award, formerly known as the STEP Ahead Award, from the Manufacturing Institute. The honor recognizes women in STEM careers who exemplify leadership within their companies and have made an impact in manufacturing.
"Going to Washington, D.C., to accept that award was incredible. It was an amazing feeling to be in a room with so many women in the industry and to hear how they are impacting STEM education and career paths for the next generation," she said. "One element of the ceremony that really stuck with me was hearing the Manufacturing Institute's president and executive director, Carolyn Lee, say, 'If you can see it, you can be it.' There is such a vital need to serve as a role model and get young women interested in STEM careers, and it's up to women like us to reinforce to them that they belong here."