Here's a scoop from a Rising Star profile: Watch your store shelves for an interesting new product from Rubbermaid.
When you see it, remember, you heard about it first from Greyson Rogers.
"So far, my greatest achievement hasn't even reached market yet, so I can't say much about it. I'll just leave it at this: I'm the project engineer on Rubbermaid brand's first splash into stainless! Hopefully coming to shelves in 2018, we're launching some neat innovation that will make taking food-on-the-go revolutionary to the consumer.
"It's rewarding to make the life of the consumer easier — that's a big part of why we do what we do."
Rogers is a senior product engineer for Newell Rubbermaid in Huntersville, N.C. He joined the company right after college, his degree is in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University.
"I interned with Rubbermaid in their test lab where I learned how plastics fail in real life, what equipment we can use to interpret their properties and how we can tie material failures to real-life consumer testing replication. I was offered a position at the end of my internship and was hired on as a test lab engineer developing test methods and standardizing practices.
"I was interested in plastics because of their prevalence in consumer goods. I enjoy seeing the products I develop in the hands of the consumers, and every day we are seeing plastics take the place of metals and other materials as we learn more about modifying their properties."
Biggest failure and what it taught you? I've seen a few years of development work behind some projects fail because timing/consumer benefit/pricepoint wasn't where it needed to be. It has taught me that the development cycle is like a rollercoaster. No day is exactly the same, and innovation on a space that has lots of competition is tough — you have to keep your nose to the grindstone and work for those little successes along the way, in order to get to a massive team win at the end.
What is your current challenge at work? My challenge is all around program timing and mold kickoff. As an organization that controls lots of businesses globally, we have a great opportunity for expansion into parts of the globe that our brand hasn't touched. We're working hard to get products into the hands of consumers all around the world to see how those cultures, those people, that demographic accepts our products. We'd love for everyone in the world to own one of our food containers. It's a real challenge to understand how we can win in these new areas and launch products that meet their needs and will do well in the market.
What emerging technology or market most interests you? Silicone injection molding seems to be a great way to solve a lot of consumer problems when it comes to sealing in the beverage and food space. There is a lot of room to make gasket-type food products better for the consumer, and I think there's some room to innovate here.
What about the plastics industry surprises you? It's great and surprising that the benefits of plastics and additives still make huge difference in up-and-coming technology despite the misconceptions around environmental concerns over plastics.
What is the best advice you have ever received? If you want to get somewhere in an organization, you have to help people get what they're looking for, even if it isn't in your job description.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry? Network often and make friends in other plastics fields because you might run across them again.
What do you do to relax? I work in the garage. Any time under my Jeep, under the hood of my truck or riding my motorcycle is enjoyable to me.