Name: Sydney Kidwell
Title: Product Engineer
Degree: Textile Engineering
Sydney Kidwell has always liked answers that are tangible. “In school, I enjoyed math because it’s one of the few subjects where there is a concrete answer to be found. With history or English, things are usually open to interpretation and personal opinions. However, with math you’re either right or wrong!”
Sydney knew she liked the STEM courses, but she needed some guidance. “I had several amazing female teachers in high school who were pivotal in focusing my desire to pursue engineering in college. Her calculus and chemistry teachers were the most influential. “Although I struggled quite a bit on the AP exams, they made their subjects fun to learn and really ignited the fire for solving complex problems.” In addition to making STEM interesting, their knowledge and confidence inspired her to chase that same excellence in STEM. “They were real world examples that the STEM fields aren’t a “boys only” club.”
After many internships and a degree in Textile Engineering from North Carolina State, she began her career at Fenner Precision Polymers. She felt Fenner Precision Polymers was the company that best aligned with her goals and would allow her to explore and try something new.
“Many textile roles end up adjacent to apparel applications and I knew leaving college that I wanted to branch towards something non-traditional.” Fenner Precision Polymers’ aerospace and industrial products allowed her to do that with products that have technical depth and would advance her skills and knowledge as a young engineer. “I’m constantly learning how to improve our textile reinforced products, while learning to manage timelines, budgets, and people.” The complexity of project management stokes that fire and forces her to develop new techniques, methods, and skills.
“The most important thing I recognized and what I try to pay forward is the feeling that women belong in STEM fields. It’s incredibly important to encourage young women scientists to share their ideas and stay engaged. There’s plenty of room for many more women to make an impact.”