Jordan Monroe got an early taste of the plastics industry and liked what he saw. Both of his parents work in the education field in Williamsport, Pa.
"I was introduced to the plastics industry at an early age while helping my father at career fair events at Penn College in Williamsport. I was intrigued and fascinated by the processing equipment and students who were passionate about it.
"This led me to research schools to study plastic engineering, which was how I landed at Penn State."
His first plastics job was as a design and production intern at Beaumont Technologies Inc., where he had the opportunity to work with Plastics Hall of Fame member John Beaumont.
"I was extremely fortunate to have a connection to arguably the most respected individual and one of the most respected companies in the industry," Monroe said.
Today Monroe is a project engineer at dlhBowles, a Canton, Ohio, supplier of plastic automotive components.
Asked to share the best advice he ever received, he credits John Beaumont: "One of the major keys to success is to never be done learning. This advice is important in avoiding the pitfall of thinking you know more than you do."
Biggest failure and what it taught you? Early in my career as an intern, I made a mistake during a mold tear down on a test mold that resulted in broken thermocouples, which resulted in several days of down test time. Besides learning that thermocouples can be delicate, I learned the value in optimizing tool design aspects that aid serviceability as well as a personal lesson that faster isn't always better.
What is your current challenge at work? Our company has grown massively over the last several years. I am working on bringing dozens of new assemblies to market and managing technical issues as well as OEM and internal milestones. I'm learning how important organization and optimization of internal systems and processes is on our success.
What emerging technology or market most interests you? As an automotive engineer, EVs and self-driving vehicles are fascinating and will provide many challenges for engineers of my generation developing, testing and bringing them to market. Along with this, we will see uses for thermoplastics that were previously never dreamed of.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry? There's no harm in just jumping in. Taking an entry-level job is a great way to start learning and moving up the ranks. Seeking out formal education is also a wise choice and can open many doors as there is definitely a gap that young talent needs to fill.
What do you do to relax? In my free time, I enjoy learning about and discovering new music, drinking coffee, playing (or trying to play) golf and playing fetch with my golden retriever, Midas.