During college, Kent worked as a Process Engineering Intern for the ORMET Corporation (summers of 1958-1961) and a Polymer Development Chemist for Pennsylvania Industrial Chemicals (1963-1965). Following graduate school, Kent joined the Union Carbide Corporation where he worked as a Project/Process Engineer for the Linde Division (1967-1971); Western Regional Manager for the Environmental Systems Department (1971-1975); and Group Business Manager, Union Carbide Europe, S.A. for the Engineering Products and Processes Department (1976-1979).
Kent was active in several professional societies including the American Chemical Society, Water Environment Federation, and the American Waterworks Association. Engineering career honors include the award of U.S. Patent No. 3547813, Biochemical Oxidation with Low Sludge Recycle; and U.S. Patent No. 3660277, Oxygenation-Ozonation of BOD Containing Water, which collectively were the UNOX System secondary treatment process patents as applied in about 450 wastewater treatment plants worldwide.