Pella Chronicle

January 29, 2014

2014 STEP Award honorees


The Pella Chronicle

---- — The Manufacturing Institute announced they will award 160 Honorees with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award. The STEP Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C-suite.

On February 6, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize these Honorees from over 110 companies at the STEP Awards in Washington, D.C. The STEP Awards program will highlight each Honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing. By telling the real stories of these women, we will inspire the next generation of talent to pursue careers in the industry and support current female talent within the manufacturing industry.

Alicia Kuhlman

Vermeer Corporation

Alicia is an avid learner who continues to look for ways to help her team better serve their customers. Since taking on a leadership role, she has increased her team’s analytical capacity through hardware and software improvements, as well as through the introduction of computational fluid dynamics and thermal analysis. She has developed effective relationships with the test department that translate to improved field validation of our computational models and ultimately better results. Alicia is committed to providing her team with the resources and training they need to develop, and has been instrumental to the growth her team as well as the product engineering teams, which ultimately results in improved quality, reliability, and manufacturability.

Alicia’s success at Vermeer can be attributed in part to both her educational background in aerospace engineering and the internships she participated in which added a range of practical breadth to her technical skills. She is effective at working with all levels in the organization.

Alicia is also enthusiastic about promoting engineering careers for women. She has participated in conducting activities through the PEERS program as well as hosting discussions with various high school groups including the Pella Community school’s principles of engineer classes. She shares her passion for engineering, and is an excellent role model for young women.

Wanti Muchtar

Vermeer Corporation

Wanti immediately provided outstanding technical expertise from her background as a Ph. D. in metallurgy. Wanti’s thorough analyses have resulted in large cost-savings, and in the improvement of machines for better performance and ultimately enhanced customer satisfaction. She is considered a driving force behind the company’s brand promise of being “Equipped to do More,” with her efforts on new, patentable processes that will save money and offer a competitive advantage.

Wanti received her undergraduate degree in Metallurgical Engineering from University of Indonesia, and her Master’s degree in Metallurgy and Material Science Engineering, being a recipient of Monbusho Scholarship Award from the Ministry of Science, Education, and Culture of Japan from Tokyo Institute of Technology. She was one of three outstanding researchers who were selected to continue research with financial support from Japanese Ministry of Science, through the Monbukagakusho Scholarship. And earn a Doctor of Engineering degree from Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Wanti is involved in the American Welding Society and ASM International. She loves to show off her lab, frequently hosting tours for local high schools and college students. Wanti also has mentored three undergraduate engineering students who have worked as interns and coop students at Vermeer in the metallurgy lab in performing failure analysis, various metallographic techniques, heat treatment projects, etc.