BSE ChE '02 and BSE ChE '01
Mike Iwaniw was a new transfer student at the University of Michigan in 2000. He quickly joined other ChE students in study sessions at the Media Union (now the Duderstadt Center). Mike enjoyed talking with classmate Regina Staniszewski during their much-needed study breaks and, before the end of the year, they were officially a couple.
During the next several years, Ann Arbor became a meeting place for them when their relationship became a long distance one as they accepted jobs and internships in different cities. During all their separations they always came “home” to Ann Arbor for reunions.
When Regina and Mike were married in September 2003, they were finally living in the same city, Midland, Michigan. Mike had accepted a job at Dow in 2002, where he started with a rotational program, working in several areas of the organization. In 2003, he worked as a process engineer and later as an engineering lead on major capital projects. Mike moved to latex manufacturing in 2006 as a production engineer responsible for day-to-day plant operation, and in 2008 to the improvement engineer role, where he executed capital projects. Regina had started at Dow in process engineering in 2002 and was a supporting and lead engineer on projects across multiple businesses, including Dow Automotive, Ethocel, and Glycol Ethers. In 2005 Regina moved to the Latex Technology Center, where she worked on business- aligned process engineering efforts.
In late 2008, both Regina and Mike joined the specialty latex business, which Dow is selling by FTC mandate following the acquisition of Rohm & Haas. Mike is a project manager and business capital coordinator, and Regina is the business lead process engineer. The new company is tentatively called UCAR Emulsion Systems and Monomers. Being part of this new venture appeals to the entrepreneurial spirit in them both, something that grew, in part, during their time at Michigan.
Regina and Mike are both Certified Six Sigma Black Belts, and Mike is currently completing his MBA through Northwood University. Both have been active in recruiting and hiring for Dow, and Mike has given several guest lectures about being a new engineer in industry for Professor Fogler’s class.
“The University of Michigan and, in particular, the Chemical Engineering Department have played important roles in our lives,” Regina says. “Michigan was where we met not only each other, but where we formed many close friendships with our classmates, whom we still keep in contact with today. It was a beneficial experience for both of us to be part of such a close-knit group of students and faculty in the department. We like getting back to campus, both to meet new aspiring engineers as well as to reminisce about the great times spent on campus.”
Today, the couple lives in Freeland, MI, with their two beautiful children, Rachel, 3, and Jacob, 1, the lights of their lives. Regina plays volleyball and soccer in local women’s leagues, and still regularly trains as a long-distance runner. Mike likes to golf, snowboard, and get into the gym when he can. Go Blue!
Article from the 2009 Chemical Engineering Newsletter.