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All 30 Under 30 Articles

30 Under 30: Jesse Srpan



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

When a casting producer for the Discovery Channel’s #BikerLive custom motorcycle-building competition watched chopper fabricator Jesse Srpan’s audition tape and called to say he was interested, disbelief broke out on both ends of the phone. The producer couldn’t believe he was talking to a 23-year-old, because he assumed someone with that much experience would be a lot older. Full Article

30 Under 30: Jennifer Kruger



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Unlike most 30 Under 30 honorees, when Jennifer Kruger, 27, started her manufacturing career, she had no experience in manufacturing. But after working at Allmand Brothers as a front line assembly worker for six months, Jennifer was promoted to second-in-command on her assembly line. Another six months later, she had taken the lead assembly supervisor position. Now in her second year at Allmand, Jennifer finds her job as lead assembly supervisor very fulfilling. Full Article

30 Under 30: Jean Oh



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

A lover of science, Jean Oh had always imagined herself going into the medical field. But then, during her coursework at the University of Washington in Seattle, she encountered a roadblock. “I learned I wasn’t good at chemistry,” she joked. That sent her investigating other science-related options. A friend had mentioned that the industrial engineering program “had a good camaraderie” of students, which appealed to Jean, who also had an aptitude for fixing things. Full Article

30 Under 30: Jonathan Grocott



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Jonathan Grocott clearly has the education and hard skills needed to excel in his position as a numerical control programming engineer at The Boeing Company, but he also shares a personality trait possessed by many other truly successful people—humility. Douglas C. Genord, Jonathan’s colleague, mentor and a technical fellow for Boeing Information Technology in Tukwila, WA, describes Grocott as exceeding everyone’s expectations, being extremely capable, demonstrating leadership skills and sitting at the top of the talent pool. Full Article

30 Under 30: Michael Casey



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Mike Casey spent five years serving his country as a Marine Infantryman. Now, he’s part of another movement to help the United States—the effort to bring back manufacturing jobs. After stepping on a pressure plate IED while serving in Afghanistan, Mike spent time recovering at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. It was there that he first heard about Workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides vocational training for manufacturing careers to returning, wounded, and disabled veterans. Full Article

30 Under 30: Kelly Hentges



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Engineering today comes with social responsibilities to make the world a better place, and Kelly Hentges, 20, a chemical engineering student at the University of Illinois, epitomizes that fact. From a young age, Kelly was always drawn to science, a fact that was partly influenced by the fact both her parents work in the Engineering Telecommunications industry. Full Article

30 Under 30: Kanesha Overton



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

For Kanesha Overton, college wasn’t always an option. Growing up in a low-income family in Washington, DC, college was a very distant dream, not only for Kanesha, but for her peers as well. Most people, she said, never graduated from high school and typically worked in retail or the service industry. Today, she works to make sure that all students, especially those from low-income areas, know they have the power to be anything they want to be. Full Article

30 Under 30: Harper Behrens Fry



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

For some 30 Under 30 honorees, the path to their degree or career wasn’t always clear. After graduating from her alternative high school with honors at 16, Harper Behrens Fry wasn’t exactly sure of her next step. In high school, she had shown real potential in math and science and wanted to pursue an advanced degree, but she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. After spending a year at a community college, Harper decided to pursue mechanical engineering and transferred to Wichita State University. Full Article

30 Under 30: Andrew Osborn



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

From the time he first tinkered with his grandparents’ go-kart at age ten, Andrew Osborn probably knew he’d be an engineer one day. Osborn today works as a product engineer at United Grinding North America (Miamisburg, OH), developing and supporting new solutions for the internal cylindrical grinding business. A fast study, Osborn’s gotten rave reviews from his days at Miami University (Oxford, OH), where he earned his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, and from his current work colleagues. Full Article

30 Under 30: Ali Rizvi



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Ali Rizvi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. He combines rigorous academic research with an entrepreneurial drive to bridge the gap between a proof-of-concept invention and commercialization. Ali is developing innovative and industrially viable technologies to manufacture low density porous plastics with super-absorptive properties for oil-spill cleanup applications. Full Article

30 Under 30: Adam Prante



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Adam Prante blew away the competition in the 2013 SkillsUSA CNC Lathe turning challenge—beating his competition by a full 45 minutes. That was last year, and this year, Adam is in an NTMA apprenticeship program working as an apprentice CNC setup and machine operator at Sattler Machine Products. Adam was nominated for the 30 Under 30 honor by Toni Neary, business development for ToolingU-SME, who wrote that Adam was a pleasure to work with during the Regional Skills USA for Ohio. Full Article

30 Under 30: Andrew Steiner



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

As a Territory Productivity Engineer for Sandvik Coromant, Andrew Steiner is responsible for bringing the latest in metalworking tools and tooling solutions to the job shop masses. And people like Andrew—knowledgeable sales engineers who are passionate about manufacturing—are essential to seamless communication and exchange of technologies between suppliers and machine shops. Full Article

30 Under 30: Eric Icke



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

At 28, Eric Icke, a program manager at General Dynamics NASSCO, is working on a project that he already believes “is going to be one of the highlights of my career.” He is a critical player in the development and construction of the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered containership. Production of TOTE, Inc.’s new Marlin Class vessels began at NASSCO’s shipyard in San Diego in February. Full Article

30 Under 30: Brian Davis



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

For most students, education goes beyond the classroom. For Brian Davis, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Florida-Gainesville, education takes over his weekends, nights, and just about any free time he has. “He always stays very late in the lab and comes to the lab over the weekends,” wrote Dr. Yong Huang, a professor who nominated Brian. Full Article

30 Under 30: Anthony Murphy



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Some people are born to manufacturing; others—such as Anthony Murphy—have manufacturing thrust upon them. Anthony was just 13 years old, sleeping in on a humid Michigan summer morning, when he was prodded and cajoled into waking up by his father: “He unceremoniously woke me up one day during summer vacation and drove me over to RLM Industries (Oxford, MI),” Anthony recalled. Full Article

30 Under 30: Moneer Helu



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

“I’ve always been fascinated by huge machines—tinkering with them, making them, trying to figure them out. I’d decided to be a mechanical engineer,” said Moneer Helu. He’s Associate Director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability (LMAS) at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, the school where he earned his PhD and MS after earning an SB at MIT. Full Article

30 Under 30: Jeffrey Leone



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

A certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Jeffrey Leone, 27, has already had a highly varied career. He has worked in the recreational vehicle industry and in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, before moving to his position as a manufacturing engineer at the facility in Greenville, NC, of Stanadyne Corp. (Windsor, CT), a manufacturer of fuel pumps and filters. Full Article

30 Under 30: Bradley Bilacic



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

“As long as I can remember I have always had an interest in how things were made,” says Brad Bilacic. Brad’s father was a rural carrier for the post office and was responsible for maintaining his work vehicle—a weekly task. His father had Brad assemble his first Volkswagen engine at the age of nine. “My dad raced cars and was always building or working on a car,” Brad remembered. Full Article

30 Under 30: Travis Bengtson



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

About the time that Travis Bengtson was interviewing with Caterpillar for its Manufacturing Professional Development Program, it seemed as if everybody was jumping out of manufacturing. Travis saw that as an opportunity because at some point there was going to be a shortage of manufacturing experts. Prior to his experience at Caterpillar, Travis had studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Full Article

30 Under 30: Natalie Byler



Manufacturing Engineering Media

7/1/2014

When Natalie Byler was a kid, she occasionally was able to watch her dad and others at the GM powertrain facility in Bay City, MI. Years later, she went to a Women in Engineering summer camp at Michigan Tech, but Natalie says that it was back there at GM, standing to one side and watching camshafts being formed in their multitudes, that “the seed was planted” for a career in manufacturing. Full Article

Second Annual 30 Under 30: Recognizing the Future Leaders of Manufacturing



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

For the second year, Manufacturing Engineering is proud to celebrate 30 young people under the age of 30 who have demonstrated exceptional talent and leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics—fields that are essential underpinnings to a career in manufacturing. These young people have taken the road less traveled, and we applaud them for it. Full Article

30 Under 30: Thomas 'TJ' Swistro



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

An experienced welder and fabricator, Thomas J. (“TJ”) Swistro, 30, recalls always being intrigued with making, fabricating and customizing products. After working as a welder to help pay his way through college, Swistro earned his BS degree in Industrial Technology at Central Connecticut State University. He’s currently working on his MBA at the University of Hartford. Full Article

30 Under 30: Paul David Filler Jr.



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

As a member of the US Marines, Paul David Filler Jr. first started learning the machinist trade while stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego. His aptitude for machining techniques and quickly learning CNC programming led him on the path to becoming an apprentice and CNC instructor for Workshops for Warriors (WFW; San Diego). Later he was named head of the Machining Department of the organization that helps train US military veterans for machining jobs in the manufacturing industry. Full Article

30 Under 30: Sonja Riley



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Dave Malrick, sales manager for industrial cutting tools distributor Walter R. Hammond Co., Minneapolis, met Sonja Riley a year ago during a meeting about the future of the product she makes and he sells. “Throughout our conversation, I came to gain lots of respect for this young woman,” says Malrick, who’s been in the cutting tools business 44 years. “I have rarely come across a person of this quality so young in life.” Full Article

30 Under 30: Patrick M. White



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Patrick M. White found his niche early on taking high school drafting classes, something he was so good at that others would ask him how to work in AutoCAD and other programs. When he studied at Moraine Valley CC, his teachers were engineers by day and instructors at night. Initially, Patrick wanted to be a teacher who communicated to young people why keeping manufacturing in the US is so important. Full Article

30 Under 30: Olivia Girod



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

The future is bright with opportunity for recent engineering graduates who have demonstrated leadership. Olivia Girod, a June graduate of Oregon State University with an Honors B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering, said that passing the defense of her Honors thesis paper was a pivotal moment in her college career. The honors thesis has resulted in a conference publication and will be submitted for journal publication, according to her faculty thesis co-advisor. Full Article

30 Under 30: Morgan Montalvo



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Morgan Montalvo “was a force to be reckoned with from day one,” former teacher and robotics mentor Nancy McIntyre wrote when recommending Morgan for an SME Education Foundation (SME-EF) scholarship. ‘Day one’ was when Morgan, in the summer before sixth grade, wandered into McIntyre’s robotics class—a class Morgan took only because she wanted to fill the time between an earlier class and when her mom could pick her up. Full Article

30 Under 30: Rebecca Kurfess



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Rebecca Kurfess, 19, and a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, readily admits she comes from a nerdy family. Her mother has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT (Cambridge, MA). Her father has a doctorate in the same field from the same school, and teaches at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The school not only employs Rebecca’s dad, it once was a source of entertainment for the Kurfess children, and introduced them to aerodynamics. Full Article

30 Under 30: Selin Sirinterlikci



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

At 19 years old, Selin Sirinterlikci has already mastered time management, which was necessary in order to achieve all of her academic successes, not to mention her sports accomplishments. “I get involved in everything I am interested in,” Selin explained. “My parents encouraged me to pursue whatever I was interested in, to try it out.” Selin said her leanings toward math, science and engineering were evident from a very young age. Full Article

30 Under 30: Sean Humes



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Sean Humes, a lifelong lover of all things computers, came to manufacturing for the technology. He stayed for the rewarding career that, he says, provides challenges, learning opportunities, and is “constantly engaging your brain.” Sean’s path wasn’t always clear. Sean’s dad, James, is the owner of Choice Mold Components, a shop that specializes in both standard and custom mold and die components. Despite growing up around manufacturing, Sean wasn’t sure he wanted to follow suit. Full Article

30 Under 30: Rebekka Neumann



Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff

7/1/2014

Hands-on from an early age, Rebekka Neumann liked to take things apart and rebuild them. But it wasn’t until she joined her high school’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) 862 Lightning Robotics team that she really knew she’d make a career in the manufacturing field. Full Article

30 Under 30: Recognizing the Future Leaders of Manufacturing



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/8/2013

Manufacturing Engineering celebrates the inaugural 30 Under 30 honorees in the pages that follow. These young people have taken the road less traveled—and they deserve recognition for it. Modern culture doesn't do enough to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, let alone Manufacturing. Full Article

30 Under 30: Allen Henri



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

“Westminster Tool,” said company president Raymond Coombs Jr., “is a company that promotes innovation and continuous improvement, and Allen has been a perfect fit for this philosophy.” Full Article

30 Under 30: Afton Hollertz



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

It has taken Afton Hollertz just a little more than a year and a half working at Allmand Brothers Inc. in her hometown of Holdrege, Nebraska, to prove just how creative a thinker and passionate about her job she is. Full Article

30 Under 30: Anabel Ugalde-Huebe



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Engineering runs in the family of Anabel Ugalde-Huebe, with her sister being a manufacturing engineer and her father an architectural engineer. A native of Mexico City, Anabel moved with her parents to south Texas at age 10, and after acclimating to a new school and an unfamiliar language, Anabel excelled in her studies, especially in math and the sciences. Full Article

30 Under 30: Amanda Nixon



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Amanda majors in mechanical engineering at Kettering University (Flint, MI) and has worked as a temp/co-op at Fanuc’s Rochester Hills, MI, facility off and on since July 2010. Prior to IMTS 2012, she had spent three-month stints at Fanuc, learning operations, product development, and—for six months—material handling. Full Article

30 Under 30: Chad Frank



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

“It all started with high school shop class,” said Chad Frank. “We got to run some small manual lathes and mills. That’s when I really got caught up in manufacturing.” There were some other factors, too, that helped pave the way to Chad’s current status as a highly regarded journeyman machinist at Hydromat (St. Louis). Full Article

30 Under 30: Catherine Ross



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

She may not be an engineer and she may not have a role in building any actual parts or products, but Catherine Ross received a flurry of nominations for her work in helping to attract and develop a competent manufacturing workforce for the future. Full Article

30 Under 30: Bret Weber



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Bret Weber found his manufacturing career path early on while still a high school student. Bret began working at Geater Machining & Manufacturing Co. (GMM) when he was 16 years old doing miscellaneous utility work in the paint and hardware departments. Full Article

30 Under 30: Brandon Killian



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

High-school senior Brandon Killian has served as president for the last two years on his school’s FIRST Robotics team, which won the Rookie All-Star Award at the FIRST Robotics San Diego Regional last year and later advanced to the International competition in St. Louis. Full Article

30 Under 30: Jason Dube



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Perhaps it’s because manufacturing is in his blood, but Jason Dube is excited about engineering. Growing up in Windsor, ON, Canada, a focal point of the North American auto industry, Jason was not only exposed to manufacturing but was a member of a manufacturing family. Full Article

30 Under 30: Ananya Rajagopal



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Ananya Rajagopal is someone for whom looking forward and giving back are both important. Shortly after being interviewed for this profile, the ninth grader e-mailed us asking that we include what she feels to be very crucial points concerning her attitude toward manufacturing, engineering and STEM education. Full Article

30 Under 30: Alexandria Moseley



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Alexandria Moseley distinguished herself as a manufacturing leader during her college career at Oregon State University. She recently graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, one in industrial engineering and the other in manufacturing engineering. Full Article

30 Under 30: Catherine Tradd



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Catherine “Cat” Tradd grew up a cowgirl helping to raise longhorns on her family’s ranch 30 miles west of Austin, TX. Today, she supervises 51 machinists, mechanics, assemblers and inspectors at Solar Turbines (San Diego, CA), a Caterpillar subsidiary that manufactures industrial gas turbines. Full Article

30 Under 30: Ronald Olkowski III



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

By the time you read this, Ronald Olkowski will be in Leipzig, Germany, representing the United States in the CNC Turning competition during the biennial WorldSkills Competition—the Olympics of vocational skills. The 42nd international event is being held July 2–7, 2013. Full Article

30 Under 30: Daniil Popov



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Daniil Popov graduated at the top of his high school class in 2011 but wasn’t sure which way to turn after graduation. Daniil, who at the age of four had moved to Washington from Uzbekistan with his family, figured he would take a job in the family tile-setting business and help his parents with the bills. Full Article

30 Under 30: Aubrey Kelley-Cogdell



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Aubrey Kelley-Cogdell is an engineer by profession and a leader in the making. She was always math and science minded in school, participating in summer programs for math and engineering at Michigan Technological University and Johns Hopkins University. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Lafayette College. Full Article

30 Under 30: Meghan West



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Meghan West has been going to machine shops for as long as she can remember. Her father founded Mastercam/CNC Software the year she was born, in 1983. As the oldest of five, she heard a lot about manufacturing growing up. But choosing it as a career, Meghan said, was her choice. “My father never pushed me,” she said. Full Article

30 Under 30: Lotheronie Raby



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

In 2008 Dow Chemical named Lotheronie Raby—then 23 years old, and a full-time employee for under two years—to the role of Global Technical Resource Leader for Heat Exchangers. In this role she leads a network of global experts who provide reviews of complex designs, troubleshoot operations failures, and maintain company standards for design and fabrication. Full Article

30 Under 30: Lauren Welch



Manufacturing Engineering Staff

7/1/2013

Lauren Welch had a strong math and science background in high school, but it wasn’t until she was a first year student at Mississippi State when an engineering professor described the difference between a scientist and an engineer that her career path was sealed. Full Article



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