Jessica Snyder is Hemlock (MI) Site Leader at Dupont. For over 200 years, DuPont has been synonymous with life-changing discoveries and scientific know-how, reinventing themselves along the way.
Jessica Snyder’s Story
When did your interest in science or engineering begin?
I was encouraged by several high school teachers to explore engineering and I had the opportunity to attend a Women in Science & Engineering camp at Penn State. Being able to meet scientists and engineers and see what they do, helped me decide to pursue chemical engineering.
What was it like to be a woman studying in your field?
My chemical engineering class was small and quite diverse. Females were in the minority but I don’t feel that we were treated any differently. I had a great female professor that also served as a role model.
Share with us some of your career highlights.
– Leading a site of >200 people to safely manufacture products for the healthcare industry (current)
– Mentoring the next generation of female engineering leaders
– Leading separation/integration activities during the Dow/DuPont merger and split (2018-2019)
– Implementing projects with contract manufacturers for multiple Dow businesses (2012-2018)
– Involvement with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) as the company’s representative on SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council (2016-2018)
– Society of Women Engineer’s Emerging Leader Award (2015)
– Managing pilot plant facilities to produce new emulsion and adhesive products (2006-2011)
To date, what project is your greatest innovation success? What is the story behind it?
As a young engineer, I was working at a site that produced adhesives. Operators had to enter confined spaces on a weekly basis to manually clean the residue build-up from glass-lined reactors. Despite doubts and previous failures by my predecessors, I found and installed a cleaning solution/spraying system that successfully removed the adhesive from the reactor walls. No more entering confined spaces! Eliminating risk and keeping people safe was the best outcome in addition to saving time and reducing cost.
Tell us about something that made you grow the most as a leader in your field.
When the opportunity for my current role was presented to me, I really questioned myself. My sponsors challenged me and my family supported me. Being uncomfortable and working through change (business, location, team) has allowed me to grow as a leader and experience more.
How are you and/or your company bringing innovation to the forefront?
We are constantly looking at market trends and how we can meet customer needs. At the site level, we are looking at how to optimize our production and scale-up new products more efficiently.
What advice do you have for future female engineers?
The road to an engineering career may be more challenging, but the rewards are high. Set your eyes on the end goal and don’t let a few failures on the way stop you. Surround yourself with those who support you and don’t be afraid to stand out.