As we move forward in our Spotlight Blogs, we want to take the time to highlight an engineer who's work is often overlooked but never under appreciated. This month's Engineering Spotlight is on Stephanie Louise Kwolek.
Stephanie Kwolek's expansive career saw success with many different companies and organizations. One of her longer tenured professional stints was at the DuPont company, where she worked for over 40 years as a chemist. During this time, she, along with other researchers, invented the high-tensile-strength material known as Kevlar. In an attempt to find a new light-weight material to replace nylon in tires, Kwolek began experimenting with different chemicals until she found a strong, crystalline structure when mixing the polymers poly-p-phenylene terephthalate and polybenzamide. The impact of this discovery was almost immediate, as Kwolek signed over the patent to the DuPont company which allowed for them to implement the material in many of it's products.
Today, Kevlar is used in many different products such as tires, helmets, cables, and even some sporting goods such as hockey sticks.
Use Stephanie Kwolek as inspiration as you continue to work through your harder projects.