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Teresa Munger Age: 30


Pratt & Whitney East Hartford, CT


UNDER THIRTY “M aybe.”


That one word likely changed Teresa Munger’s life.


“As a junior in high school,”


she said, “my honors physics teacher asked the class if anyone was interested in going to school for engi- neering. I raised my hand and said maybe. I didn’t really know what I wanted to major in, but engineering seemed like it might be a good fit as I did well in math and science. After class, she asked me if I was seri- ous about it and if I was interested in RPI [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Troy, NY]. She ended up nominat- ing me for the Rensselaer Medal Scholarship. That one question in physics class ended up being a significant catalyst into my future.”


Of course, Munger may also have had a predisposi- tion toward engineering—and toward RPI. “My father has a mechanical engineering degree,” Munger said, “and works as a plant engineer. Addition- ally, my aunt and uncle both graduated from RPI with engineering degrees.” Munger got her own degree, a BS in mechanical engineering with a manufacturing concentration, in 2008, posting a GPA of 3.92 out of 4.0. It was during her undergraduate years that she realized she wanted a role in manufacturing.


“I took a two-semester course called Advanced Manufacturing Lab. We spent the first semester de- signing a product and the manufacturing processes for it,” she said. “The second semester was spent manufacturing 600 of one of the designs from the first semester. I enjoyed the hands-on elements of being able to work with machines and actually see a product come to life. From this class, I knew that I wanted to pursue a position in manufacturing.


102 AdvancedManufacturing.org | July 2016


“Meanwhile, a friend, who had graduated from RPI two years ahead of me, had taken a job in the Manufacturing Engineering Development [MED] Program at Pratt and Whitney [East Hartford, CT]. Everything that she told me about the program sounded like something that I would be interested in. I liked that it was manufacturing related, would be based in the northeast, and would allow me to see multiple areas of the company as I still didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. During the interview process, I was able to tour the facility and it seemed like an interesting place to become a part of.”


Another advantage is that RPI has a satellite cam- pus in Hartford that offers an Advanced Professional Studies program for working professionals. Munger took courses toward a master’s of science in man- agement while herself taking part in the P&W MED program, which she completed in June 2010. Her next P&W assignment was in the Hot Section Module Cen- ter’s Advance Coatings group. Before this assignment was over Munger had received her master’s (while bumping her GPA up to 3.93). Munger has also been promoted to senior manufac- turing engineer. Recently “Teresa has been working on a variety of initiatives that positively impact the financial perfor- mance of the coating business unit,” said David Bon- sall, general manager of P&W’s Hot Section Module Center and the person who nominated Munger for 30 Under 30.


“Outside of P&W,” Bonsall said, “she is an ac- tive member of the Hartford section of the Society of Women Engineers, and serves on the Executive Board as a section representative.”


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