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UpFront: Celebrating Young People in STEM

Sarah Webster



By Sarah A. Webster 
Editor in Chief

It’s usually not a good idea to say you have a favorite child, but I’m going to do it anyway here: Our July issue, focused on workforce development, is easily one of my favorites. Inside, you’ll find our second annual list of 30 Under 30 honorees. It’s so heartening and uplifting to read about all the excitement young people have around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)—fields that are essential underpinnings to a career in advanced manufacturing. 

It’s even more important to listen to the lessons they have to teach us about attracting additional young people into STEM fields. One that stands out to me after talking to some of our 30 Under 30 honorees is this: The value of, and requirement for, teamwork and collaboration in the STEM fields, especially as their complexity grows. “I feel like that’s a very overlooked part of engineering school in general, the team player aspect,” said Jean Oh, 27, a manufacturing engineer at Boeing Co. in Portland, OR, and one of our 2014 30 Under 30 honorees. “There should be more emphasis on it in school.” 

Another important takeaway: Manufacturing might be the road less traveled, but if you choose it, it can take you to fascinating far-away places to do critical work.

For example, I actually bumped into one of our 30 nominees, 26-year-old Andrew Osborn, in May at United Grinding's 2014 Grinding Symposium in Thun, Switzerland. Osborn works for United Grinding North America, where the mechanical engineering graduate from Miami University (Oxford, OH) develops new products for the company’s internal cylindrical grinding business. This is an important technology for anyone manufacturing long cylindrical parts for, say, the tooling or aerospace industries. He was busy meeting with business associates near one of the five new machines United Grinding launched at the symposium—a Studer S141, a universal internal cylindrical grinding machine, for grinding long workpieces, such as spindle shafts, spindle housings and rotor shafts. Osborn, a tall and pleasant young man, was having a blast at the event and told me that he was blessed to have found his calling in manufacturing. He told me he always liked to design and build things, and he was amazed at how much responsibility he now has helping others build critical parts in the United States. He was also delighted to be honored for his work in this area.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating the 30 Under 30 honorees in these pages for their interest in STEM, as well as their hard work and dedication. Thank you, too, to Sandvik Coromant
for sponsoring this year’s 30 Under 30 program, which helps us honor these young people in the manner they deserve.

This article was first published in the July 2014 issue of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Click here for PDF.

Published Date : 7/1/2014

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