Stacey DelVecchio

Stacey DelVecchio

Additive Manufacturing Product Manager
Caterpillar Inc
Dunlap, IL, United States
Stacey DelVecchio
Ask a Question:
Required field
Please note
The engineers who take the time to respond to student questions on this forum are often very busy and may not respond to some questions, particularly those that have been answered elsewhere. Please be sure to review previous questions and answers to see if your question may have already been addressed.
Enter the code shown: (only upper case)

Stacey DelVecchio is the Additive Manufacturing Product Manager for Caterpillar where she leverages 3D printing in new product introduction, supply chain, and operations. With 27 years experience at Caterpillar, Stacey has worked on a wide range of products. She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and proudly served as the 2013-2014 President for the Society of Women Engineers. She lives in Peoria, IL with her husband and their three cats.
B.S. Chemical Engineering from University of Cincinnati
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to host a field trip to my place of employment.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Stacey DelVecchio

I went to a school where you had to co op. I would not change this however I would have taken a little more risk in regards to where I co opped. I wanted to stay close to home and that limited me. I also would have gotten involved in the Society of Women Engineers in college. I could have you benefitted from the network and the development opportunities they offer. . I didn't become a member until after I had been working for several years. 

Thanks for reaching out to me.

First, math was probably my favorite, so I'm probably not a good one to ask.  I did enjoy the math classes.  But after the first 1.5 years, I don't think you get into the math as much.  I have to say that I hear this a lot.  People think they aren't good enough at math to become an engineer.  Let me tell don't have to be a math whiz to be an engineer.  You just have to get through the classes.

I like the idea of the chemical engineering degree with the minor in bio engineering.  This will give you lots and lots of flexibility.  If you really want to be a bio medical engineer...please please please....get the engineering degree.  With a biochemistry degree, you will end up doing more lab work.  And plus there's the fact that you'll have an easier time getting a job.  If at all possible, do some interns as soon as you can, just to make sure the the bio medical engineering is what you want.

Hope this helps.

Good question Jonathan but I don't have an exciting answer.  Like most engineers, I liked math and science in high school.  I really!!! liked math, but didn't want to be a math teacher.  All my teachers, parents, counselors, etc....said I should be an engineer.  That sounded ok (as I didn't have anything else specific in mind), but I didn't know what kind of engineer I wanted to be.

I really like biology and considered bio-medical engineer.  But I really had a lack of understanding of what an engineering did in general.  I had shadowed an engineer for a day, but that helped just a little bit.  With this in mind, I decided it was important to co-op when I went to college.  I'm from Ohio and the University of Cincinnati had a mandatory co-op program.  This appealed to me as I would get to work side-by-side with engineers in my 2nd year of college.  With it being a mandatory program, it also meant that the university would be vested in helping me get a job (which they did).

However...the University of Cincinnati did not offer a bio-medical engineering degree.  I really had my heart set on co-oping and the benefits I would get from it.  So, I decided to go with something that was close and available at the University of Cincinnati, and that was chemical engineering.  I enjoyed chemistry (although not as bunch as biology) and the co-oping really really helped.

Bottom line, there is a lot of overlap in the engineering disciplines.  If you chose a school that has several options, you can change as you learn more.  And once you get into industry, it's not as critical either.

This is such a great question Temi and I can understand your concern.  You ask how I chose chemical engineering and it's not the best reason, but basically...I really really liked math but didn't want to be a teacher.  I thought engineering might be a good fit for me.  The next decision was to decide what kind of engineering and since I also liked chemistry, I chose chemical engineering.  Since all this was so unkown to me, I also felt strongly that I needed to co-op so that I could actually see what chemical engineers did.  This is why I attended the University of Cincinati where you start working early in your 2nd year of school.

My advice to you is to go with the chemical engineering and here's why.  You're absolutley right that you'll have a lot more job opportunitiesw with chemical engineering, as well as the chance to make more money (not that it's all about money of course).  With a B.S. in chemistry, you'll most likely work as a technician out of school and spend several years working your way up to the level that a chemical engineer would start at.  This just isn't about the money Temi.  It's about the level in the company which means the amount of responsibility and the impact you can have.

One option might be to major in chemical engineering and minor in chemistry.  That might get you enough chemistry to feed your interest in that area.  Also, I had chemistry each and every semester during my college career which was enough for me.  Maybe you're looking for more though and a minor in chemistry would certainly get you that.

I hope this helps.