Future 30

Young people are finding their way to manufacturing, and are finding success. Plant Engineering’s Future 30 program is a year-long series highlighting the future manufacturing leaders and why they are optimistic about their future. To submit one of your employees for consideration, go to www.plantengineering.com.


Young people are finding their way to manufacturing, and are finding success. Plant Engineering’s Future 30 program is a year-long series highlighting the future manufacturing leaders and why they are optimistic about their future. To submit one of your employees for consideration, go to www.plantengineering.com and click on the Future 30 logo.

Paul Stahlke

Age : 28

Education : B.S. Mechanical Engineering, U.C. Berkeley, 2002

Employer : Equipois, Inc.

What they say : “Paul joined Equipois as a Senior Manufacturing Engineer after being recommended as a superstar by his former employer. Paul single-handedly established a top quality manufacturing operation from the ground up, including processes, systems, procedures, hires and budgets. Despite his young age, Paul earned a promotion to director of manufacturing operations. He manages all production and participates as a member of the senior management team. Paul handles enormous responsibility with calm and leadership, and has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Why he’s excited about a future in manufacturing : “There are so many interesting challenges and opportunities. We are truly in a globalized economy, which actually benefits U.S. manufacturing as it forces us to improve and innovate. I’m fortunate to be part of a company that is uniquely situated to contribute in this evolution.”

Kyle Stage

Age : 24

Education : Polymer, Textile, Fiber Engineering degree in December 2006

Employer : Honeywell-Colonial Heights, VA

What they say : “Kyle has the hardest area in the plant to cover and has spent countless hours helping to improve productivity. He has come up with several projects to increase productivity on his lines. This is a unionized plant, and with Kyle being much younger than most of the workers, he has really had to prove himself. He has a good rapport with the technicians on the East side. Kyle has presented several projects to the leadership team and has been to the plant manager’s annual meeting. Kyle is a major asset to this site and to Honeywell as a whole. He will advance rapidly within the organization.”

Why he’s excited about a future in manufacturing : “It constantly challenges me to find ways to improve products and processes by making them more economical, consumer-friendly and environmentally safe. These challenges motivate me to think creatively and outside the box, constantly striving to make those around me and myself better.”

Audrey Miller

Age : 27

Education : Graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering

Employer : Rockwell Automation

What they say : “Audrey epitomizes an emerging leader in manufacturing. She joined Rockwell Automation as part of its Leadership Development program in 2005. For two years, she rotated through the operations track (manufacturing engineering, supervision and materials). After that, she spent a year as a supervisor at our Milwaukee facility. She transferred to our Sumner, IA facility where she serves as a production and inventory control manager. Audrey is on a deliberate path to becoming one of our future plant managers.

Why she’s excited about a future in manufacturing : “Manufacturing is filled with new challenges every day. We create standardized processes and continually seek ways to gain efficiencies. As our world continues to globalize, we all have opportunities to learn to maneuver through the increased complexities. Few other sectors are as hands-on where you can see tangible results from hard work.”

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
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Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
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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

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