Your Role in Influencing and Contributing to your Organization Strategy | AIChE

Your Role in Influencing and Contributing to your Organization Strategy


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Presentation Abstract:

Strategy, strategic planning, strategic thinking. For every engineer is important to understand these concepts and how they relate to the desired objectives of the organization. In dictionaries, a strategy is defined as a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals. Indeed, the strategy of the organization is the roadmap, established and communicated, to achieve the desired organizational goals. Developing a strategy requires commitment and can be best guided with well-known methodologies or frameworks. Strategic planning is important to an organization because it provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals. Strategic planning is a process that is useful for guiding priorities, allocation resources, and executing day-to-day decisions. Strategic plans include well-thought-out objectives and consistent metrics for evaluating results. Engineers that practice strategic thinking influence the long-term success of the organization or themselves. Strategic thinking requires research skills, analytical thinking, innovation mindset, problem-solving skills, typical skills found in an engineer. It also requires communication, leadership skills, and decision-making, which engineers need to develop and practice. During this presentation, we will touch in the above concepts emphasizing the importance of the engineer [the individual] participating and contributing to the strategy and strategic plans and utilizing strategic thinking.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Cristina Thomas has more than 28 years of technical and leadership experience in research and development organizations in the Venezuelan oil industry, in IBM (New York) and in 3M (Minnesota). She has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. She has had a variety of assignments including Global R&D Services Leader and Senior Technical Leader for the Corporate R&D organization, Strategy Manager, Laboratory Manager and Commercialization Manager for the Traffic Safety and Security Division, Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Technical Black Belt in the former Building Safety Solutions Division and Group Leader of the Materials Modeling Group in the former Advanced Materials Technology Center.

Her technical successes at 3M provide persuasive bona fides for her technical leadership. She became an early leader in chemical engineering’s molecular and materials modeling community, including work toward creation of AIChE’s CoMSEF Forum and CAChE’s triennial Foundations of Molecular Modeling and Simulation conference.

She led the reinvention of the 3M window-film product platform and the design and implementation of new product introduction processes. Dr. Thomas’s leadership and technology management skills resulted in realizing the world was in need of solutions for films with no metals to avoid interference with radiofrequency communications. She persistently nurtured high team member performance and guided the team to deliver very innovative ideas that were combinations of 3M core technologies, and then utilized nanotechnology materials and processes. She is a co-inventor of the basic patent that secured 3M intellectual property in this area. Today these multiple market breakthrough products (automotive, commercial and residential) are impacting people every day by saving energy in commercial buildings, protecting drivers from health-damaging solar exposure and, in combination with ultraflexible film technology, protecting homes, retail locations and embassies from high hurricane winds, vandalism and terrorist attacks. She repeated now incorporating digital technologies in the area of worker safety resulting in a new portfolio of patents for the application of connected safety. Due to these numerous contributions, she received the 2019 AIChE Industry Leadership Award

Her movement into increasing management responsibilities seemed natural because of the great technical respect she had gained by her achievements and because of her enthusiastic vision for the possibilities in technologies and in people, pressing each toward their potentials. Today, her team is responsible for providing services to the R&D community at 3M, including knowledge discovery and analytics, global technical learning and collaboration, government R&D contracts, and global R&D processes. Her passion for management and leadership was also recognized with the 2019 AICHE Management Division Award.

She leads the Science Encouragement Programs within the 3M’s R&D community. She is a member of the 3M STEM Council, of the 3M Social Justice Work Stream team, of the AIChE Corporate Council & Industry Leader's and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable sponsored by National Academy of Science. She has a passion for organizations that move new technologies into markets, for institutions that focus on education of underrepresented students, for organizational change management and for women’s leadership in science and engineering. She lives in Stillwater, Minn., with her husband and three children.

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This Live Event was conducted on Thursday, October 28, 2021, 11:15am EDT. Registration for this event is now closed.
  • Source:
    MGMT - Management Division
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  • Duration:
    1 hour
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