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Andrew James (Jim) Puza


Andrew James (Jim) Puza

How did you decide to come to Drexel Materials?
I came to Drexel for the engineering school reputation. I started as an Electrical Engineering major, but did my first co-op with International Nickel and switched to Metallurgical Engineering and found that is where I belonged.

First Job Post-Graduation and Brief Description of Duties
Process Metallurgist for Swedish Steel Company (Sandvik Steel Co.) in the U.S. I spent 20 years with the same company and retired as President of one of their joint venture companies, Pennsylvania Extruded Tube Company.

How did you find your first job?
I did my last few co-op periods with them and they hired me after graduation.

What have you been doing since?
After my first 20 years in the steel industry, I retired to buy and operate my own business in Arizona. I did this until 2002 and sold it and decided to finish out my career in community service. Since 2003, I have been the Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army Southwest Division.

How do you feel your Drexel materials education has contributed to your current job?
It made the whole thing possible. Aside from the pure academic elements of the education, the type of education I received in Drexel materials, with the lab work and a great deal of emphasis on technical presentations and the co-op periods, allowed me to advance quickly in the industrial world. I really only worked as an engineer for a few years, but the rounded education and experience I gained in those five years at Drexel gave me a good start in working my way up as a business executive.

Do you have any advice for students looking for an engineering program or for current students?
Weigh the advantages of a co-op program heavily; it was a major factor in my success. Pick a good school because in the competitive environment that exists today, the reputation of a university provides an advantage. If that is where your interest lies, engineering is a great career, but chose a program that teaches a rounded approach to engineering in an industrial business environment.

Year of Graduation: 1974