Title: Lead chemist of global research and development
Company: SI Group
Why she was selected: After two years of research, Krawicz is preparing to submit her first patent in the U.S. for a new resin technology she developed for the rubber industry.
How has working in the rubber industry broadened your view of the world?
I must say that before joining SI Group I did not appreciate the breadth of applications for rubber and resin chemistry, and was not familiar with many of its applications. I also learned a tremendous amount about scale-up production, and I am still learning that part of the job. Those were things I had not been exposed to in college and graduate school. Another aspect of the job is that it is not enough to be a good chemist; you need to understand the business side to drive important projects forward that will make the organization successful. I am still learning this as well as perfecting interactions with customers to understand their needs.
What advice do you have for students considering a career in the rubber industry?
If you are an undergraduate student, I strongly suggest you find an internship in a company and get firsthand experience to see if you like it. There also are opportunities to do undergraduate research with professors who are leaders in this field, and I recommend seeking those out. I had done undergraduate research myself and I think it gave me an edge over other job candidates when I found my first industrial job right after college and before going to graduate school.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I enjoy the technical aspects of my work, and I am eager to expand into strategic decision making and road mapping. I would like to have more direct customer interaction on a regular basis and develop a deeper understanding of the market requirements and trends. I am looking forward to eventually moving into a leadership position, but with a strong technical background to drive the group and company toward new accomplishments.
Other interests: Enjoys exploring new countries/places, hiking and trying new cuisines with her husband.