To offer a drop-in solution to overcome the PA66 shortage, we developed an alternative material: The Akulon® IG series is a portfolio of material grades made by combining the strength of PA6 and PA46 – two materials that are fully independent of the Adiponitrile/hexamethyldiamine supply.
People of DSM Engineering Materials: Taneisha Deans
We recently sat down with Taneisha Deans, R&T engineer for DSM Engineering Materials, to learn more about her role at DSM and discuss the importance of mentorships.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at DSM?
I am a developing R&T engineer in polymers with an interdisciplinary background in polymer characterization, processing, thermoplastics, coatings and fire science. I have been at DSM a little over two years and my position is split into two roles. I oversee entering job requests into an online database. I translates the requests and questions, then enter them into the system, so jobs can be carried out across the globe. I am also part of the specification team, where we focus on gathering data and ensuring that we can put materials into various customers’ products.
2. What has been the best part of your role as R&T engineer at DSM?
I like the ability to work with so many people around the world and work on many projects that come out of the different labs. It’s fascinating to have coworkers in so many countries and to see how everyone collaborates. I also enjoy learning about the company’s sustainability initiatives.
3. What are a couple of the most memorable experiences you have had working at DSM?
I love that we are such a close knit group and that we are always helping one another. I have learned a lot from the specification team. My colleagues in R&T are always open to teaching me something new and willing to help me to develop myself.
4. What inspired you to study science and make a career of it?
Since I was young, I always had an interest in science and engineering, which stems from my passion for cars. Growing up, I would help my dad fix cars, and we bonded thanks to this. My knowledge about cars grew to the point that I was able to name the make, model and year of almost any car I would see.
Even though I had an interest in science early on, I didn’t really know what steps to take to get to where I am today. A program that helped me is the Envoy Program at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), in Cleveland, Ohio. The Envoy Program is a high school STEM education, training and college preparatory program, and its purpose is to increase access and persistence in STEM at CWRU for under-represented students. Thanks to this program, I was exposed to the field of materials sciences.
5. Why is mentoring important to you?
By being in the Envoy program, it carved out a path for me. Plus, I had an influential mentor—he would always crack a joke—calling me Dr. Deans—but there was a seriousness to this joke. I didn’t know why he was calling me that at first. Where I grew up, there weren’t many people in the area that looked like me and had a doctorate degree. I didn’t realize that you can get a doctorate until my mentor suggested that I not only get a bachelor’s degree, but obtain a doctorate degree.
Thanks to having this mentor, I was put on a path to aim high and study an area of science that I have a passion for. Because of this, I want to give back, which is why I am a mentor today. Right now, I am a mentor with Minds Matter Detroit. Every Saturday I mentor a young lady, who lives in the inner city of Detroit and wants to become a medical doctor.
6. What advice would you give to a young person considering studying materials science and having a career in the industry?
I tell my mentee and other kids that it’s OK to reach out for help. Personally, I needed to surround myself with like-minded people to help me figure out my path—how to get to where I wanted to be. You don’t know who is willing to be in your corner and guide you to your next destination, so be open minded and open to criticism too. Sometimes you may not understand the advice you are given, but if you are open to it, you should be able to take that advice and figure out how you can use it to the best of your ability. Mentors helps you grow and often see something in you that you don’t even see in yourself.
To learn about another Person of DSM Engineering Materials: Paula Kruger, click here.
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