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30 Under 30: Recognizing the Future Leaders of Manufacturing

30 Under 30: Recognizing the Future Leaders of Manufacturing

Manufacturing Engineering’s 2018 Class of 30 Under 30 honorees are in a class all their own. This is the sixth year Manufacturing Engineering is recognizing 30 individuals under the age of 30 that are leading the manufacturing industry into the future. These individuals exemplify extraordinary promise in manufacturing and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills that underpin the discipline, plus much more.

“This year’s Class of 30 Under 30 is a very impressive group,” said Manufacturing Engineering editor emeritus Jim Sawyer, who conducted interviews and wrote the individual profiles of the 30 Under 30 honorees. “It’s great to see such an outstanding and diverse group of people being showcased for their accomplishments and talents in the manufacturing industry.”

From professors and researchers to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and machine shop managers, this year’s 30 Under 30 honorees have many accomplishments to be proud of—they are truly making a difference in the manufacturing industry.

Many of the honorees knew from a young age that they wanted to work in manufacturing and engineering. But for some honorees their interest blossomed when they were exploring completely different career paths.

Jason Wolf graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in December 2015. Wolf is currently the resident machining expert at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Manufacturing and Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Since beginning this job in 2016 he “has continually taken on leadership roles,” said Howard Sizek, branch chief at AFRL Wright-Patterson. “Most recently, he is leading an industry-academia-AFRL research effort to advance processing knowledge of a critical new Air Force alloy. This alloy was developed by AFRL research engineers and will be replacing more expensive and difficult-to-produce alloys currently utilized by the US defense industrial base.”

Wolf’s route to this point in his career involved a lot of hard work.

“In my junior year in high school I was bitten by the manufacturing bug,” he said. “Near the end of high school I took a full-time apprenticeship opportunity at Exact Tool & Die. Meanwhile, I started evening classes at a community college to try my hand at earning a mechanical engineering degree. After about three years, I took an apprenticeship at NASA Glenn Research Center and I loved being around aeronautics and space-related projects.”

About midway through finishing his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, Wolf decided to go to school full time. “Then, in the summer before my last semester as an undergraduate, AFRL offered me a job,” he said. “At AFRL my interests in manufacturing, engineering, and the defense community all converged.”

Added Sizek, “Mr. Wright has not forgotten his roots as a tool and die apprentice and continues to support the Polaris Career Center as an advisory council member for the precision CNC machining program.”