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Boeing South Carolina worker 3D printing face shields for healthcare workers

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As Women’s History Month draws to a close it is important to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

Emily Mikkelson is one of those women.

“I knew that I loved math and science and that a career in STEM was probably right for me,” Mikkelson says.

Mikkelson is a tool engineer at Boeing South Carolina. Specifically, she focuses on additive manufacturing – better known as 3D printing.

“It could be different from day to day,” Mikkelson explains. “In a nutshell, I help support our shop with tooling solutions to help productivity, improve safety, improve quality and, more often than not, all in one projects.”

Essentially, if a coworker has a problem, Mikkelson and her team come up with a solution.

“Whenever I finish a project and I deliver the final product to our shop, if it makes them happy and I can see that on their faces, then that makes my job worthwhile,” Mikkelson says.

And while her job typically revolves around airplanes, she took on another project during the pandemic – making face shields.

“This was driven by our BAM team, Boeing Additive Manufacturing,” Mikkelson explains. “So they had a design that was approved and was very quick to manufacturer. Once they had that model, they were able to send it across the country to our different sites - which was really cool being able to mass produce this model and that’s something that you can’t say about other types of manufacturing. So, that was really cool to leverage additive in that way. And then from there we just made as many of those face shield visors as possible, and being able to send those to our frontline workers was really meaningful too.”

This month we take the time to remember and highlight the contributions of women. In a field that’s typically dominated by men, Mikkelson says she is proud to stand out.

“I’ve thought about it and if you were to look like 100 years ago, I don’t think I’d be in a role like this today,” Mikkelson says. “But it’s about all those women who took a chance, who dare to be different, making the change, not just for themselves but starting a more social change in our culture. I think that’s what allowed me to pursue this and I never thought twice. What is it to be a woman in engineering? It’s my passion! So I’m glad I was able to pursue that without making a second thought about it.”

Mikkelson adds to those who find something that their passionate about – go all in.

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