RYAN TROIANO, 22
Greiner Packaging Corp.
Title: Development and project engineer
Location: Pittston, Pa.
Birthplace: Scranton, Pa.
Social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @Ryan_Troiano
Education: Bachelor's degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology, cum laude, Pennsylvania College of Technology, May 2015.
Career highlights: 2014 Brian E. Liles Memorial Scholarship for second-year plastics and polymer technology students; 2014 DME Co. Plastics University Scholarship; 2011 Technology Student Association national qualifier/attendant, engineering design.
Associations: Society of Plastics Engineers, American Motorcyclist Association.
Q: Tell us about your family:
Troiano: I come from quite the large family consisting of my mother, father, four brothers, one sister, and of course, two dogs. We have always been a family that was involved in sports. Things are often quite hectic around here with so much going on. For the most part my family has always supported me and pushed me to become successful within a thriving field.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Troiano: I became interested in the plastics industry after an open house at Penn College, when I saw all of the processing/lab equipment and heard about other students' experiences. Growing up, I had always taken apart my toys to see the way they worked and even got very involved with rebuilding motorcycle engines with my father. I have always been very technically inclined and knew I wanted to be in a field [where] the technology would always be advancing. My first job in the industry came during the summer of my sophomore year of college, when I worked as a laboratory technician in the high-performance fluoropolymer division at Laminations Inc.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Troiano: So far, my biggest accomplishment has been earning myself a great job with one of the best companies out there. When I started there in my summer internship I walked into a beautiful product plant with something significant missing — plastics processing equipment. I became very involved in the operating and air-permitting processes. I was also quite involved in all-new equipment placement and designed many support structures throughout the plant. Now that the plant is operational, although still drastically expanding, it was time to have someone in charge of all new product development. In August I will be traveling to Austria, Switzerland, and Northern Ireland to learn all the engineering practices throughout the company and also project-management training. I really believe that the future is bright for this company and it will bring me some amazing opportunities.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Troiano: Additive manufacturing. It is mind-blowing to see some of the parts people create.
Q: If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
Troiano: Invest in the people working. Since the success of any company depends on the productivity of its employees it is important to make sure all of their accommodations are taken care of. I would also invest in their education and training.
Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?
Troiano: My boss, David Kirkland. At 30 years old he is the chief operating officer and possesses an immense amount of knowledge on both the business and technical side of the industry. He is a very motivated individual, teaches me a lot and guides me to become a successful person.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
Troiano: I would like to see myself maintaining a challenging yet rewarding career that deals with both the technical and business sides of the industry. I'd love to see myself eventually owning an innovative company creating products for the action sports or motorsports industries. I think that it is important to be able to apply my acquired knowledge to something I have a passion for.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Troiano: I have tons of hobbies. My favorite of all is racing motocross. Though it is not quite relaxing, it helps take my mind off everything and I love the competition. I also do a lot of wake boarding, skiing, mountain biking and golfing. I also love to play my guitar to relax.