Wiring Harness News May-Jun 2022 - Page 46


The Power Women of the Wire Harness Industry

Continued from page 45 ____________
male . She mentioned that one of the best aspects of her Purdue engineering education consisted of being a part of the Formula One SAE ( Society of Automotive Engineers ) team . She and her team were able to design and build a race car within a school year , and ultimately raced their vehicle at the Michigan International Speedway . She was particularly involved in the composite material selection for the air frame , wings , and side pods . Speaking to the female portion of her collegiate experience , she indicated that females comprised about 25 % of her mechanical engineering classes . She never felt like there were gender issues , though she did note that the majority of the females were of international descent and that there were not many young , blonde Caucasian students like herself in the engineering programs .
After undergrad , she had several job opportunities from the companies where she previously interned . She again wanted the excitement of working within the automotive industry and chose to work at FCA ( now Stellantis ), in part because she had personal reasons to locate within the Ohio / Michigan area . Additionally , Caitlin mentioned that she is a die-hard Jeep fan ; she loves the brand and specifically the Wrangler name plate . She has now been at Stellantis for five years . In her first 1 ½ years ,
Caitlin Feltner
she worked as a triage engineer . In this assignment , she was responsible for analyzing failed parts and determining the root cause for active chassis-related components , wheel speed sensors , and engine systems parts . She gained exposure to powertrain and electrical systems within the vehicle . She was interested in the assignment and employing her ME skills , but also still had an interest in environmental systems as well as working on problems in which there were yet no solutions . One of her mentors then introduced her to the electrified powertrain group . She met an area manager who suggested that she work in this area because they are developing new high voltage battery products to address
unsolved problems . As the job hit her key interest points , she took on a new role as a high voltage battery system hardware design release engineer . She has been in this group for nearly 4 years and still loves it . She likes the environmental focus , complex systems , and the innovative necessity . She is currently working on a Maserati electrification project and has become very passionate about energy storage .
In December 2020 , Caitlin received her Masters of Engineering in Systems Engineering through Cornell University as a part-time graduate student working full-time at Stellantis . Through Cornell , she was able to publish two papers as a coauthor through Cornell University titled ‘ Data Driven Prediction of Battery Cycle Life Before Capacity Degradation ’ and ‘ Efficiently Evacuating Lower Manhattan ’. Caitlin received a Fellowship from Cornell University Systems Engineering for her graduate studies and financial support from Stellantis , making the choice to pursue her masters at Cornell very easy . Additionally since graduation from undergrad at Purdue University , Purdue Research Foundation pursued a past project of Caitlin ’ s and published US Patent Application Number : 16 / 013,645 , ‘ Strength and Endurance Training System ’, where Caitlin is a co-inventor .
Outside of job activities , Caitlin was on the Purdue recruiting team at FCA . She was also the Society of Women Engineers ( SWE ) Newsletter Chairperson within Stellantis ’ s SWE Chapter and held other previous leadership positions within SWE .
In her current group , she is one of only 2 females on a project team of
roughly 25 people . Fortunately , she can find additional female camaraderie in the Stellantis SWE group which is comprised of many young females . She said that it is nice to have some female conversation as she is often the only female in her meetings . Being one of the only females has not discouraged her , however , as she strongly recommends that females consider engineering for a collegiate major and career . She believes there to be more independency and freedom in engineering . She thinks engineering offers women a good work / life balance as the hours are not overly demanding . She also loves the aspect of the financial independence at a young age that engineering offers . The field is engaging and challenging and permits a person to think creatively and technically at the same time . As many of the previous Power Women candidates have advised , she also encourages students to stay curious and not worry if they aren ’ t the smartest kids in the high school class . There is a belief in society that only the super-intellectuals can become engineers but according to Caitlin — there is little accuracy in that idea .
Thank you , Caitlin , for sharing your story and Stellantis , for creating a positive environment for female engineers .
If you are interested in sharing the stories but missed the original WHN distribution , the articles are available on the Jana Diversity Solutions website at www . janadiversity . com , or at wiringharnessnews . com .
If you know a female engineer who would make a great candidate to feature in the Power Women series , please direct them to me at melissa . femia @ janadiversity . com
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