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Press Release

SME Salutes 30 Under 30: Making Their Mark on Manufacturing

(DEARBORN, Mich.) – SME’s Advanced Manufacturing Media has introduced 30 of the brightest young minds in manufacturing, engineering and research in its fifth-annual "30 Under 30" section in the July Manufacturing Engineering magazine. 30 Under 30 celebrates young men and women, nominated by educators, managers and enterprise owners from around the U.S., for their exceptional accomplishments – notably and remarkably achieved by each before the age of 30.

Many of the group are already exploring new advanced technologies and expanding boundaries in the manufacturing industry at Boeing, Facebook, General Dynamics, Stratasys, Lockheed Martin, Hitachi and other leading companies. Others are entrepreneurs or have assumed leadership roles in family enterprises. Still other 30 Under 30 honorees are educators, researchers and academic leaders.

“We’re so pleased to share the inspiring stories of these brilliant, energetic, creative young professionals,” said Dave O’Neil, vice president, Advanced Manufacturing Media at SME. “With their talent and ability, these impressive people are the future and promise of American manufacturing.”

Some notable examples of roles, responsibilities and accomplishment among the 2017 class of 30 Under 30:

  • Kirsten Kozlovsky, a Notre Dame graduate currently working on a Fulbright Visiting Student Researcher Award project – a rare honor for an engineer.
  • Raj Bhakta, a doctorate student at North Carolina State University, who aims to leverage studies in textile engineering into smart textiles and wearable technologies.
  • Cory Cunningham, who is responsible for procurement and implementation of additive technology for use in tooling, rapid prototyping and shop aids for assembly at Boeing.
  • Salvatore Palazzolo of Elkay Manufacturing, who received four different 30 Under 30 nominations! As a six sigma green belt, he has developed manufacturing strategies for Elkay that will create new jobs, increase product quality and further innovation.

The 30 individuals (all age 30 or younger at the time of their nomination) recognized in 2017 are:

  • Matthew Benzik, 24, SLM Solutions NA Inc., Wixom, Michigan
  • Raj Bhakta, 25, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • James Biaglow, 21, The University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Russell Brent, 27, General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego
  • Andrew Carter, 29, Stratasys Direct Inc., Austin, Texas
  • Sandra Chen, 26, Facebook, Menlo Park, California
  • Chad Chmura, 27, CNC Software Inc., Tolland, Connecticut
  • Andrea Colosimo, 27, Hyla Soft North America, Chicago
  • Adam Coulston, 29, Brose North America Inc., Auburn Hills, Michigan
  • Joshua Cukier, 19, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Cory Cunningham, 29, The Boeing Co., Seattle
  • Devin Grande, 24, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas
  • Daniel Iannuzzo, 25, Packard Machinery Co., Westford, Massachusetts
  • Sean Kelly, 24, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Kirsten Kozlovsky, 21, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Caroline Kulczuga, 30, Ultimate Machining & Engineering Inc., Plainfield, Illinois
  • Kathryn Merrill, 25, The Boeing Company, Seattle
  • Nicole Metivier, 29, EnvisionTEC, Dearborn, Michigan
  • Maxwell Micali, 27, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • Adam Millat, 28, Millat Industries Corp., Dayton, Ohio
  • Salvatore Palazzolo, 27, Elkay Manufacturing, Oak Brook, Illinois
  • Tim Pheland, 27, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North Kingstown, Rhode Island
  • Zhengwen Pu, Hitachi Insight Group, Bellevue, Washington
  • Tyler Rigby, 23, Nucor Steel Nebraska, Norfolk, Nebraska
  • Katherine Robertson, 27, Mobile Comply, Detroit
  • Austin Schmidt, 28, Additive Engineering Solutions LLC, Akron, Ohio
  • Kevin Simon, 27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Jesse Trinque, 29, CNC Software Inc., Tolland, Connecticut
  • Ryan Van Deest, 28, Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Illinois
  • Erin Winick, 22, Sci Chic, Gainesville, Florida

Profiles of the individual honorees are included in the July issue of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, available at

Advanced Manufacturing Media is the media division of SME, an organization dedicated to advancing and educating the manufacturing industry.

About SME

SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or

About Advanced Manufacturing Media
SME’s Advanced Manufacturing Media is a leading source for news and in-depth technical information about advanced manufacturing in North America. It serves an audience of more than 100,000 manufacturing professionals who subscribe to the monthly magazine, iTunes app, e-newsletters and other publications. Coverage is focused on some of the world’s most critical industries: aerospace and defense, motorized vehicles, medical and energy, whether that’s oil and gas, nuclear, electric, solar or wind. Learn more at, follow @MfgEngNews on Twitter or


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