Title: Principal Chemist
Mary Kate Davies fills her days solving problems and innovating yet-to-be-imagined solutions as a principal chemist at Fenner Precision Polymers. After almost eight years, Mary Kate’s role has grown to leading and collaborating on a wide range of projects that involve analyzing and synthesizing new materials. She finds motivation in searching for ways Fenner can improve on processes and design formulation.
Her work includes developing new products and tackling challenges as they arise with existing materials. The work is far-reaching, as it touches every business unit at Fenner that uses polymers. This role also keeps her connected with colleagues at Michelin, where they collaborate to identify all types of solutions. Longer-term materials problems are often Mary Kate’s focus. These projects often beg questions that will help achieve the business goals. For example, “How do we convert whole product lines to more sustainable options?” “How can we mitigate supply chain issues?” “What materials do we need to enter new markets?”
While setting out to solve these questions and ultimately achieve results, Mary Kate most enjoys working with a team. She appreciates the collegial support and the way the chemistry team “gels when it matters most.” During COVID, the team provided continuous support to manufacturing, while still advancing new product development projects. Last spring, when the belting business needed a substitute for a critical raw material, the chemistry team, working alongside operations, supply chain, and quality, were able to deliver a solution that readily met the needs of the customer.
Participating in outdoor activities with her family is her passion away from work. Mary Kate especially likes to go hiking and camping in unique locations. Her family is also active in their local Cub Scouts pack.