Lynzie Nebel is fervent in her belief that the plastics industry is much more exciting than it gets credit for. That belief led her to help create the nonprofit organization Molding the Future.
"In a nutshell, our goal is to introduce more people to plastics as a career. So when we finally became an official IRS-stamped 501(c) [organization], I was thrilled to have an avenue that both encourages people to get into the industry and provides them with resources to get there," Nebel said in her Rising Stars survey.
The organization has received grants from the Society for Plastics Engineers, where Nebel is a member and on several boards, and Jade Group International, where Nebel is a lead project engineer.
Nebel, 32, graduated from Pennsylvania State University Erie, the Behrend College, with a bachelor's degree in plastics engineering technology.
"After my sophomore year in college, a classmate and I headed down to Commerce, Texas, to be interns at Zurn [Industries] for the summer," she said. "It was not a walk-in-the-park air-conditioned internship, but it was a great exposure to a manufacturing floor. We helped out with all the departments and besides spending a day looking for a stainless steel magnet — eesh! — we received a huge insight into the plastics industry that not many students are lucky to have that early into their careers."
Nebel also has experience at Bausch + Lomb, Beaumont Technologies Inc., Pittsburgh Plastics Manufacturing Inc., Accudyn Products Inc., SMC Ltd. and MTD Micro Molding.
In October 2016, Nebel was hired at Jade Group, where she manages project timing and engineering requirements of all tools built in China as well as following mold progress through successful part runs in the United States.
Nebel is on several SPE boards, including the NextGen Advisory Board, Northwestern Pennsylvania section and Injection Molding division. She is also a mentor with FabFems, a role model program for young women interested in STEM fields; on the advisory board for Penn State Behrend; a Make-A-Wish Foundation wish granter; and a volunteer at Highmark Caring Place, a center for grieving children and their families.
Nebel said she looks up to and spends time with Lucy Lenhardt, the plastics lab research assistant at Penn State Behrend.
"She has a 'jack of all trades' type [of] knowledge in this industry, and it's coupled with the fact that she makes sure to know where our alumni are working so she can use that power for the greater good," Nebel said. "She puts all her time into getting alumni to come in and make presentations to college, high school or elementary school students, being an active member for women in engineering and working tirelessly on events that help raise money for scholarships, school groups or for the local SPE chapter."
Nebel's future plans include being president of SPE, "but I'm working on that," she said.
"Career-wise, I plan on growing Molding the Future. I think a lot of opportunities are going to be missed if the perception of plastics keeps trending negative, and it's important to me that we're able to shift that perception into the positive," she said. "It might not be what I originally thought my career goals were, but it's become my new priority."
As if Nebel didn't have enough to keep her busy, she lives in Erie, Penn., with her husband, Daniel; son, Henry Ulysses, who was born in January; and cats, Richard and Ralphie. She enjoys yoga and CrossFit, and Nebel is a violinist in a local orchestra from September through May.