2014 Engineering Leader Under 40: Melissa Unger
Materials Cost Manager; Victaulic; Easton, Pa.
Melissa Unger, 31
Materials Cost Manager
Education: BS Industrial Engineering, Penn State University
Melissa Unger began her career at Victaulic in 2003 as a rotational engineer, and she has rapidly advanced through the company while undertaking various leadership roles. Over the past decade, Melissa has progressed from plant engineering to plant superintendent to her present position as materials cost manager. Today, Melissa works globally with all of Victaulic’s facilities to increase efficiency and improve productivity. She is also very skilled in process improvement, including finding ways to secure local efficiency gains and manufacture products close to Victaulic’s customers, according to Chris Misiak, Victaulic director of operations.
Melissa has a strong passion for the outdoors and being active. She enjoys fishing with her husband, riding her four-wheeler, playing baseball with her father, playing with her dog Nikky, and cruising around in her Ford Mustang. When she is not outdoors, she likes spending time with family and friends or reading a good book. Melissa is also a member of the American Foundry Society, a U.S.-based metal casting organization.
Why choose this career path?
“My passion for driving continuous improvement, thinking outside the box, and never giving up when times get tough began at a young age, so I knew I wanted a career that would enable me to utilize these traits,” said Unger. “Industrial engineering gives me that opportunity, and also allows me to get my hands a little dirty. It has proven to be a great fit. Victaulic has helped shape my career path and leadership skills by allowing me to explore various roles, empowering me to make smart decisions that keep my career and our innovative company moving forward.”
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey