Stacey DelVecchio
Stacey DelVecchio
Additive Manufacturing Product Manager, Caterpillar Inc
Dunlap, IL

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  • Describe what you do in your current work situation.
    As the Additive Manufacturing Product Manager for Caterpillar, Inc., I do 3D printing for our big yellow equipment. It’s my job to work with my team and a lot of other really smart people at Caterpillar to figure out how we best use this this exciting technology in all spaces, including new product introduction, supply chain and operations….and then do it. That means I’m constantly learning about the technology of 3D printing and am working to put it to use at Caterpillar.
  • Why did you choose engineering?
    I know it’s not a flashy story, but I have always loved math and science. I really didn’t want to teach though as I thought I would get bored with what I perceived as the repetitive nature of teaching. In talking to my teachers and friends of the family, I thought engineering might be a good choice where I could use my love of math and science. I shadowed a family friend who was an engineer but still wasn’t really sure what engineering was. Because of this big unknown, I chose to attend the University of Cincinnati (UC) in Ohio. The engineering program at UC has a mandatory co-op program which means you can’t graduate without co-oping. In my second year, I started co-oping where I went to school for one quarter, and then worked as an engineering co-op the next quarter, then went to school for one quarter and so on. The program was a five year program, but that extra year was well worth it. I graduated with 1 ½ years of engineering experience and had the opportunity early in my collegiate career to work side by side with engineers and find out what engineering was all about.
  • Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
    B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio
  • What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
    So many things…
    • o I’ve injection molded parts
    • o I’ve tested parts and created the tests myself
    • o I’ve designed and built a waste water treatment facility in China
    • o I’ve traveled the world
    • o I’ve analyzed data
    • o I’ve blogged
    • o I’ve presented to all kinds of people from just a few people to hundreds of people
    • o I’ve created project plans
    • o I’ve facilitated meetings
    • o I’ve researched existing technology.
  • What do you like best about being an engineer?
    I love the variety of the work I’ve done throughout my career as an engineer. I’ve worked on compounding new types of rubber and plastic to make parts that have properties they didn’t before. I’ve worked on the factory floor to make components for our bull dozers. I’ve worked to figure out tests to reproduce something we see on the construction site. And then I’ve spent some time pulling all this together on the computer, analyzing results and preparing my recommendations for my leadership. This combination of hands on work with time on the computer has kept me from ever getting bored.

    I also like that I’ve worked on some really cool stuff and with a whole slew of other engineers that impress me week after week. It’s very energizing to work with people that are always thinking of what we could do…and then figuring out a way to do it.

  • Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
    In 2013/2014, I proudly served as the president of the Society of Women Engineers, a worldwide organization that is over 34,000 strong.
  • What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
    Sometimes I’ve felt that my career has stalled and that maybe people haven’t appreciated what I have to offer. I’ve conquered this by keeping my eye on the big picture and staying positive. I’ve looked for advocates that could help me and mentors that could give me advice. I then followed their advice and of course was patient.
  • Please tell us a little about your family.
    I have an older sister and two younger brothers. I’m very close to my mom. I’ve been married for 25 years to Kerry, a fellow engineer at Caterpillar, who I met at the University of Cincinnati. We have no children, but we do have 11 nieces and nephews. I love being an aunt because you can spoil your nieces and nephews and there’s no payback from your siblings.
  • What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
    Short-term goals:
    • o Determine the best use of 3D printing at Caterpillar and then make it happen.
    • o Get a new hip.
    • o Become a Weight Watchers Life Member…again.
    • o Visit New Hampshire, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Oklahoma so that I can complete my tour of all 50 states.
    Long-term goals:
    • o Retire with my husband and continue to advocate for women engineers.
    • o Establish a Society of Women Engineers Fellows retreat.
    • o Learn to quilt.
    • o Stay connected technically via a board of director’s position.
  • What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
    My parents were definitely the biggest influencers in my life. They installed in me a belief that I could do anything. They made sure that I realized that I had been blessed with a lot of talents and that I needed to do something with them. They helped me figure out what I wanted to do and put very few boundaries around me. When it came time to go to college, I needed to go to a state school for cost reasons, but other than that, it was pretty much up to me. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized this kind of encouraging childhood was rare. I’d like to see all little girls have this kind of positive reinforcement that they can do anything they set their minds to. They can change the world.
  • What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
    Think about how you want to change the world, and then do it. If you don’t know how, ask one of the engineers in the directory of women engineers here at EngineerGirl.org.
  • Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    I’d like to see all little girls have this kind of positive reinforcement that they can do anything they set their minds to. They can change the world.
  • Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
    I love scrapbooking, reading, and napping. Some of my favorite books are
    • o The Martian by Andy Weir
    • o The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat by Eric Lax
    • o The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
    • o The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
    I enjoy traveling to and hiking in National Parks with my husband of 25 years. Some of my favorite parks are Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park (in the winter), and Crater Lake National Park. I love animals and currently am the proud ‘mommy’ of two cats.
Biography
Stacey DelVecchio is the Additive Manufacturing Product Manager for Caterpillar where she leverages 3D printing in new product introduction, supply chain, and operations. With 27 years experience at Caterpillar, Stacey has worked on a wide range of products. She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and proudly served as the 2013-2014 President for the Society of Women Engineers. She lives in Peoria, IL with her husband and their three cats.
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Education
B.S. Chemical Engineering from University of Cincinnati
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to host a field trip to my place of employment.
Latest Questions
  • Daviel, Naples asked Stacey DelVecchio, Caterpillar Inc

    Added Monday, August 29, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    If you had it to do over, related to your career or education, would you do anything differently?
    Related to Choosing a Degree, Internships & Jobs, Preparation for College
    Answers 1
    Stacey DelVecchio, Caterpillar Inc
    Answered Monday, August 29, 2016 at 9:29 PM
    I went to a school where you had to co op. I would not change this however I would have taken a little more risk in regards to where I co opped. I wanted to stay close to home and that limited me. I also would have gotten involved in the Society of Women ...
    Read More
  • Dennis, Borger asked Stacey DelVecchio, Caterpillar Inc

    Added Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 7:14 PM

    Hello my name is Dennis, I am very happy I stumbled upon one of the answers you had previously answered because it's very similar to what I had wondered. I was very interested in becoming a Bio-medical engineer but the university I'm planning on going to does not offer that as a major so now I'm leaning towards becoming a chemical engineer but although I do enjoy math it is not my strongest subject, and I'm afraid I will not do well which is very discouraging to me. Was this an issue for you? ...
    Related to Bioengineering/Biomedical, Choosing a Degree, Difficult Classes, Math & Science, Preparation for College
    Answers 1
    Stacey DelVecchio, Caterpillar Inc
    Answered Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 7:14 PM
    Thanks for reaching out to me.
    
    First, math was probably my favorite, so I'm probably not a good one to ask.  I did enjoy the math classes.  But after the first 1.5 years, I don't think you get into the math as much.  I have to say that I hear this a ...
    Read More
  • Jonathan, Jemison, Alabama

    Added Monday, August 31, 2015 at 1:39 PM

    Of all the other engineering fields, why did you choose chemical engineering?
    Answers 1
    Stacey DelVecchio, Caterpillar Inc
    Answered Monday, August 31, 2015 at 1:39 PM
    Good question Jonathan but I don't have an exciting answer.  Like most engineers, I liked math and science in high school.  I really!!! liked math, but didn't want to be a math teacher.  All my teachers, parents, counselors, etc....said I should be an ...
    Read More
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