2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40

The 2016 honorees share a common profession, but they have uncommon skills and interests.


The only two things that CFE Media's 2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40 have in common are that they are engineering leaders and that they are under 40 years old. Their professional skills in manufacturing engineering enrich their companies and serve their customers in a variety of ways. Their achievements at such a young age are individually impressive. Skills sets vary widely, from electrical engineering to welding, and from system integration to plant optimization.

Away from work, many are outside and active. This year's 30 manufacturing professionals come from 15 states and four foreign countries and have a long list of personal and civic interests. For example:

  • Aneel Baig helps coach and train his company's cricket team. In Texas.
  • Lisa Wyman just completed her 15th straight Boston Marathon, and her goal is to run it 25 straight years.
  • Brendon Russ and his wife also are distance runners, and they use that running to support charity work.
  • Trent Moore is a West Point graduate who returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.
  • Seth Wallander is comfortable in the air and the ocean; he's a pilot and a scuba diver.
  • Arran James enjoys yacht racing off the coast of New Brunswick, Canada.
  • Yogesh Prasad Balajee is making short films and directing plays in New Jersey.
  • Tyler Lamile is an amateur anthropologist.

The most recent CFE Media study on workforce development issues shows a continuing concern about the sources for and breadth of the next generation of manufacturing leadership. Readers cite a lack of applicants in general and a lack of qualified applicants in particular as serious issues facing the industry.

This year's Engineering Leaders Under 40 understand this issue, and many actively work to see their profession grow and expand to meet the future industry challenges. April Ankrum is a member of Minnesota Women Leading Manufacturing, which looks to encourage women to pursue a manufacturing career. In Dubai, Chandradhar Prasad is hoping to turn his interest in education and automation into a nonprofit organization. Ruben Sitts is involved in the Skills USA program in New York State and will judge the annual welding fabrication competition at this year's conference in Kentucky.

As these and other talented and committed individuals build careers and inspire the next generation of manufacturing leaders to come after them, they demonstrate that there is not one way to a career in manufacturing. They come from many places and work around the world, and their achievements are uncommon. That is what makes them this year's Engineering Leaders Under 40.

Amanda Pelliccione, Erin Dunne, Bob Vavra, and Mark T. Hoske are CFE Media staff involved in this year's program management, selection, editing, and introduction.

The 2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40 are listed below and in the September 2016 issues of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, and will be honored at the 2017 Engineering Awards in Manufacturing dinner hosted by Control Engineering and Plant Engineering early April 2017 in downtown Chicago. 

Learn more about the 2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
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.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

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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