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.
As this nation tries to encourage more students to develop their STEM prowess, we atManufacturing Engineering have learned some valuable lessons in talking to these young students and professionals. Among them: You’re not necessarily born with STEM talent—you have to cultivate it.
Several honorees said it may not be helpful to treat STEM like one bucket of skills that you have, or don’t, because it may discourage some students from a STEM career unnecessarily. For example, some honorees said they were good at science but really had to work at math—or vice versa. Some consider themselves more aligned with engineering, which they described as investigating and solving problems. Some said they were more inclined toward technology, good at logic, programming language and coding. Others said they were better with their hands, crafting a vision into reality.
Several honorees encouraged other young people to hang in there and not get discouraged by, say, math, if they loved physics and wanted to pursue a career in that direction. Few people are good at all aspects of STEM fields, which is why several honorees sang the praises of teamwork, one of the aspects of a STEM career path that they said often goes underappreciated.
“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 the 2014 30 Under 30 honorees. “There should be more emphasis on it in school.” ME
Patrick M. White
Paul David Filler Jr.
Thomas “TJ” Swistro
Harper Behrens Fry
Published Date : 7/1/2014