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Meet a #futureshaper: Willie Morrissette

Here's how he's making jet fuel from mustard seeds

When he was young, Willie J. Morrissette, Jr. competed in school science fair competitions.

“Chemistry was indeed my true sport,” said Willie, who is based in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Now, he wins everyday working with oil companies to use our technology so they can operate more efficiently.

Based in Des Plaines, Illinois, here is his #futureshaper story.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My original plan was to go into medicine. My mother was a medical researcher who inspired my love of the sciences. I was very active in high school science fair competitions both with Chicago Public Schools and NAACP ACT-SO. By my senior year, I had competed at the national and international levels in chemistry. While I did participate in sports, for me chemistry was indeed my true sport. In researching my science fair project, I developed a pilot plant to test various catalytic process to desulfurize the fuel gas from the conversion of coal to fuels.

In college, I completed three internships with a major oil company. That allowed me to pay for most of my university costs while gaining valuable experience in the oil refinery industry. 

What do you do?
I work with oil companies to use our technology so they operate more efficiently. This helps our clients pollute less and make more money.

What do you wish people knew about Honeywell?
The engineers, scientists, business people and all the team members that make up Honeywell UOP are driven by solving problems and bringing new technologies to the market to give our customer a competitive edge.

How does your job make tomorrow better and safer than today?
Protecting the future is not luck but hard work. Honeywell UOP continues to develop new process technologies enhances current operations as well as safer and significantly more efficient refineries of the future.

If you were a fortune reader, what would you predict as the future of your industry?
Old inefficient refineries will be shutdown and remediated to make way for newer, significantly more efficient and safer refineries of the future.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Enjoy the hard work of making a difference. Prepare yourself for failures and let it motivate you to dig deeper to find solutions. Stay flexible at how you look at problems and how you work with teams since rarely are solutions obvious at first sight.

What do you for fun?
I love to travel and learn what life is like in places away from home. I enjoy spending time with my wife and our two teenagers. It is fun seeing the world through their eyes, without the limitations of knowing what can’t be done until they have tried it. I also enjoy reading a good book or watching a good movie to recharge.