Right at home with P&G

KatieDambachAccording to researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most American workers last four years with an employer. Katie Dambach, ME’06, defies that statistic. “I have never interviewed with another company,” Dambach says of her experience with Procter & Gamble. “I got the first internship and never looked back.”

Dambach, a manufacturing project leader for Pampers, acts as a liaison between her plant and others. Her workday includes preparing projects, making sure proper documentation is done, facilitating conference calls between “diaper design engineers” at various plants (both domestic and international), and troubleshooting the execution and assembly process. And while these job duties don’t necessarily sound like those of a typical mechanical engineer, she says her current position allows her to draw on her engineering background.

“School allowed me to learn mechanical troubleshooting, an ability and strength of engineers; it’s more about the process than design.” she says. “Because of that, engineers tend to be more mobile and progressive in their careers.”

Dambach was first introduced to P&G when she was invited to attend a Minority Technical Summer Camp in Cincinnati after her freshman year at Missouri S&T. “The next summer, I interned with Bounty Research and Development in Cincinnati,” she says.

Dambach returned to P&G for two additional internships, both times to the manufacturing site in Cape Girardeau, Mo., the same plant where she currently works. She and her husband, Travis, live in their nearby hometown of Jackson, Mo., with their toddler, Birkley. Dambach says her daughter gives her an invaluable perspective on her career.

“Not only am I a producer, I’m a consumer. Therefore, I really understand the need for the quality checks and all that goes into producing the diapers,” she says. “They have to be perfect because they are going on our most prized possessions — our babies.”

The amount of pride and dedication Dambach puts into her work is a direct reflection of what P&G puts into their employees.

“Our employees are our number one asset,” says Dambach. “Without them, there is nothing. P&G builds leaders and invests in their employees — they really care.”

For example, Dambach recalls running into the plant manager who hired her seven years earlier. He had since become a vice president, working in Cincinnati. “He came up to me and said, ‘Hi, Katie! How are you doing? How’s Travis?’”

P&G strives to maintain the family-friendly feel it was built upon more than 175 years ago. Headquartered in Cincinnati, P&G has production plants in more than 80 countries and consumers in more than 180 countries. The company now manufactures more than 300 products, from Crest to Tide, and at least one product is found in nearly every American household, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

“I love knowing that what we make improves our consumer’s lives every day,” says Dambach. “It’s pretty cool to be part of that.”

A lesson in dedication

An offensive lineman, Peterson helped the Miners end the 2012 season at No. 24 in the American Football Coaches Association poll. He sees hybrid power systems — the combination of solar photovoltaics with other power generation devices —­ as key to
the future. His portrait was taken in Emerson Hall.

Brian Peterson’s dedication to football — and to Missouri S&T — helped push the Miners to a record 10-1 season and landed him on the Capital One Academic All-America team. He is only the 19th Miner in the history of the football program to be selected for this honor.

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Letter from the editor: Megan Kean-O’Brien, MS TComm’12

Dear Fellow Alumni:

Fans of The Simpsons may have noticed some familiar clothing on Lisa during the episode that aired on Nov. 11, 2012.

In that episode, Bart Simpson’s more intellectual younger sister wore a “University of Missouri at Rolla” shirt while playing online poker with the college savings her dad, Homer, had socked away. It made us wonder what kind of a student Lisa would be if she attended Missouri S&T.

Wikipedia describes the middle Simpson child as “highly intelligent” (with an IQ of 159), spiritual, idealistic and “notably more concerned with world affairs than her life in Springfield,” her mythical hometown. Armed with that information, our admissions staff, many of whom are fans of the show, predicted Lisa’s career as a Miner.

  • Major: environmental engineering and psychology
  • Activities: jazz band, theater, research, film series, athletics
  • Student organizations:  Women in Engineering, French Club, Engineers Without Borders

Of course, Lisa Simpson is just a fictional character, but Missouri S&T has thousands of other real-life students with fascinating real-life stories. Each one is different. While all of them strive to uphold the Miner tradition of excellence, and many exceed that high standard, there is no such thing as a stereotypical S&T student.

Miners excel in a broad spectrum of activities and interests. Some are athletes. Others are members of student design teams. Some are involved in research that can change the lives of people around the world. Others focus on serving their local communities. Many combine these activities and more.

In this issue, we’ll introduce you to a few of today’s real-life students. Keep an eye on them. They, like so many of their fellow Miners, are going places.

Sports: by the numbers


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Will Kirby

Most people would provide a list of adjectives when describing themselves. Will Kirby, ArchE’08, CE’08, on the other hand, provides a statement: “On the move.”

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Joseph Liefer

Missouri S&T is known for preparing students to be motivated, driven and successful leaders. Joseph Liefer, ME’06, is no exception.

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Michael Ojo

From engineer to entrepreneur: Michael Ojo, ECE’07, MBA’08, began his graduate studies in computer science thinking that an engineering degree coupled with a computer science degree would be fitting.

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Preston Carney: more than an OK (section) volunteer

Like many other alumni, Preston Carney, CE’02, MS CE’03, realizes that his success is due in large part to the quality education he received from Missouri S&T. And he hopes that his support ensures future students are given the same opportunities he had as a student.

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Not lost in translation

Andrew Ryan, MS ME’87, insists, well aware of how strange it may sound, that his Spanish classes at S&T sculpted an unpredictable future for this Irish engineer.
To date, Ryan has lived in five countries, worked in 20, and visited more than 50. He is also fluent in eight different languages, but that wasn’t always the case.

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Doug Duchardt: Life in the fast lane

Doug Duchardt, ME’87, pictured above, right, is living life in the fast lane and there doesn’t seem to be any slowing him down.

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