The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) recognized two Caterpillar team members, Stacey DelVecchio and Ann Peedikayil, with awards at this year’s WE18 conference. In the Q&A below, Stacey talks to us about her work at Caterpillar using leading technologies to develop solutions to help our customers build a better world, while also demonstrating her commitment to encouraging women in engineering fields.
Read our Q&A with Ann here.
Q&A with Stacey Delvecchio
Stacey DelVecchio is Caterpillar’s additive manufacturing product manager and a former president of SWE. She received the Advocating Women in Engineering Award for her stellar career of technical and managerial accomplishments, and for her tireless and ingenious use of media to speak out for SWE and for gender diversity in engineering.
Stacey, tell us about your current role at Caterpillar.
As the additive manufacturing product manager, I’m responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to maximize the use of additive manufacturing at Caterpillar. This is a really exciting and evolving area, and I am the first manager in this position. Our Additive Manufacturing Factory has a wide range of 3-D printing capabilities and is a source for Cat® production parts. Since the end of 2015, we have seen an increase of 35X in released, 3D-printed Cat part numbers.
And what was your career path that led to your work in additive manufacturing?
I’ve been with Caterpillar for over 29 years, and I love the variety of engineering and manufacturing positions that I’ve held throughout my career. For example, I led the build and start-up for a brand-new facility in China, served as the hose and coupling engineering manager, was the new product introduction (NPI) manager for Caterpillar Fuel Systems, and oversaw the project management office (PMO) team for Cat engines.
You’ve been honored this year by the Society of Women Engineers for your accomplishments during your career – but also for your advocacy of women in engineering. Tell as about your advocacy work.
I’m a longtime SWE member, and served as the society president in 2013-2014. Caterpillar has been supportive of my work with SWE and enabled me to speak on behalf of SWE and women engineers globally. I’ve spoken to a network of manufacturing CEOs about the need for gender diversity. I’ve advocated for gender diversity in engineering with our congressmen for years via SWE’s congressional visit days and had the opportunity to present to the U.S. Senate STEM Education and Workforce Caucus. I wanted to use current technology to reach broader audiences though, so I’ve done numerous podcasts and recorded for StoryCorps, to discuss the valuable contributions of female engineers.
I’ve also championed SWE’s global growth to support our Caterpillar colleagues and other fellow engineers around the world in creating workplace cultures that are inclusive and welcoming to women. I’m on the Women in Engineering committee for the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, which provides me the opportunity to travel the world to educate a wide group of people on the needs for increased gender diversity in engineering and for a culture that welcomes women. I’ve also attended the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which was an amazing and educational experience.
Why are you passionate about advocating for women in engineering?
I want to see women have the kind of positive reinforcement that I’ve had – to have someone tell them they can do anything they set their minds to. As I’ve talked with women engineers around the world, I’ve found it amazing how similar we are. We are all looking for challenging work, good opportunities and respect from our colleagues. This isn’t too much to ask. But why gender equity in engineering? We need women and men working together to develop innovative solutions, and research shows that the most diverse teams develop the best solutions. The field of engineering is rewarding, challenging and ever-changing. I want to inspire young women to consider engineering; I want to inspire them to change the world.
Learn more in this Q&A with Ann Peedikayil, who won the 2018 SWE Counselor Award.