Stacey DelVecchio and Ann Peedikayil are talented women at Caterpillar awarded by SWE for impressive career achievements

Caterpillar women awarded for their talent and advocacy

Caterpillar women awarded for their talent and advocacy

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has recognized two outstanding Caterpillar women employees at their WE18 conference awards - Stacey DelVecchio and Ann Peedikayil.

Stacey works at Caterpillar using leading technologies to develop solutions to help customers build a better world, while also demonstrating her commitment to encouraging women in engineering fields. Stacey is Caterpillar’s additive manufacturing product manager responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to maximize the use of additive manufacturing. She is also a former president of SWE. Stacey 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.

"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," explains Stacey.

A career with Caterpillar for almost three decades

"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," reflects Stacey.

Great career accomplishments and advocacy of women in engineering

Stacey has been honored by the Society of Women Engineers for her accomplishments during her career – and also for her advocacy of women in engineering.

"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," reinforces Stacey.

"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.,"explains Stacey.

The power of positive reinforcement

Stacey wants to see women have the kind of positive reinforcement that she has experienced – 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," comments Stacey.

 The field of engineering is rewarding, challenging and ever-changing. Women at Caterpillar, like Stacey, want to inspire young women to consider engineering and they want to inspire them to change the world.

Ann Peedikayil is a data scientist at Caterpillar

Caterpillar SWE award

Ann works at Caterpillar using leading technologies to develop solutions to help customers build a better world, while also demonstrating her commitment to encouraging women in engineering fields.

Ann received an Outstanding SWE Counselor Award for bringing her wisdom, energy, and compassion gained as an engineer and a SWE member to her role as counselor for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Collegiate Section. Only one SWE Counselor Award is given each year.

Ann enjoys her role at Caterpillar as a data scientist in the Analytics Professional Development Program. Through the program, she has had rotations with the Machine Data Insight and the Digital Dealer Enablement groups. In her rotations, she has been able to leverage her experiences collecting machine data and modelling machine structural performance for various Cat products.

"While my first rotation was in an area that I was familiar with, machine performance data, my current rotation working with dealers has expanded my understanding of Caterpillar’s customer-facing side. What truly excites me about data analytics is that it enables us to aggregate all the rich data sources available at Caterpillar and transform them into tangible and actionable insights for our enterprise and our end customers,"explains Ann.

Moving into the data field

Data analytics has helped Ann to better understand Caterpillar's customers, dealers, machines and processes at various levels of granularity.

Ann has been with Caterpillar working in various engineering roles for over a decade, before she moved to the data science field.

One constant throughout Ann's career at Caterpillar has been her focus on data. "I started my career at Caterpillar in the parallel co-op program at the Champaign Simulation Center as a structural analyst. After graduation, I joined the Engineering Rotational Development Program, during which I had rotations in remanufacturing, product support and testing. After the rotation program, I worked in multiple roles where I used data to help develop solutions for continuous product improvement (CPI) and helped direct new product introduction (NPI) design decisions,"comments Ann.

"During this time, I completed my masters in mechanical engineering, and later earned an MBA, with concentrations in supply chain management and data analytics. During the course work, I realized I wanted to explore what I can do with data in the business space, and Caterpillar’s Analytics Professional Development Program was opened for Caterpillar employees with previous experience. The program has allowed me to leverage the knowledge that I had built in different areas of product development at Caterpillar, while allowing me to expand into other areas, such as dealer services."

Ann has been involved with SWE since her undergraduate college days, serving as the community service director in those early days. "My SWE network has been valuable in supporting me both personally and professionally. The relationships that I developed through SWE have provided great support as I navigated through various positions. Bringing my Caterpillar and UIUC networks together, I’ve also worked with the SWE-UIUC Team Tech as an industry advisor. How do SWE counselors support SWE on college campuses? For seven years, I’ve been the counselor for the SWE collegiate section at UIUC, the largest student engineering organization on campus. I guide the student section in a number of ways – from mentoring of officers, to networking, to career development. As counselor, I also hold a position on the local professional section – SWE Central Illinois – and act as a liaison between the two groups."

Critical nature of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)

Ann has worked with FIRST® LEGO® League in Champaign, Illinois - and previously served as a mentor for FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST® Robotics Competition teams.

"Student teams from around the world compete in the Team Tech Competition at SWE’s annual conference. The SWE Illinois Tech Team, which is sponsored by Caterpillar, present their project to a panel of judges, along with feedback from their industry sponsors. The project that Caterpillar presented to the SWE Illinois Tech Team was a challenging one. The team was asked to design a low-cost data acquisition system that could access data from our machines, such as temperature, pressure, engine speed and other machine sensor information, instantly displaying this data in a visual format," explains Ann.

"The system also needed to be robust enough for the range of environments in which our Cat machines operate. The team’s approach consisted of connecting a Raspberry Pi, encased in a protective shell designed to withstand various operating environments, to pull encoded sensor data, along with a web-based app the team developed for visualization. This project was supported by multiple Caterpillar divisions. The project identified new, innovative and low-cost data acquisition solutions Caterpillar can implement, as well as a recruitment opportunity for potential employees. I learned right along with the students and fellow mentors as we navigated through the challenges of developing a viable solution. The team did a great job.

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