Title: Senior scientist
Company: Lord Corp.
Why she was selected: Hedlund has been instrumental in using her experience to help others transition into new roles with Lord. She received a 2017 STEP Award Emerging Leaders award from Women in Manufacturing for her efforts.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the rubber industry?
I was not at all familiar with the rubber industry through college. While applying after graduation, I came across an open position in the Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory at Lord. Wanting to spend time in the lab, I accepted the position and my quest to learn the properties and processing of rubber began. As I met veterans in the industry, the same theme continued to emerge: "Rubber gets into your blood." After five years, I can understand why that and similar comments are made. There is intrigue and a mystery about rubber that draws a person into this discipline where I hope to stay for the remainder of my career.
What accomplishment are you most proud of so far and why?
The release of the first compound I developed was an incredibly proud moment for me. Following the project from inception to release in production, I rode a roller coaster of highs and lows with great advancements and setbacks in the development process. Through it all, I developed a compound that surpassed the original targets.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would like to attain greater depth and breadth of knowledge in rubber compounding and to make a positive impact for my company and for the industry. I want to expand STEM programs to reach more students and help inspire the next generation of chemists, engineers and mathematicians, particularly for the rubber industry.
Other interests: An avid runner and volleyball player, Hedlund and her husband recently trained for the Pittsburgh Marathon. She looks forward to the 5K every fall at the ACS Rubber Expo.