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Van Winkle a ‘Step Ahead’ National Winner, Following Path that Began at Rose-Hulman

March 25, 2015

Vanwinkle Portrait

Industry Leader: Juliana Van Winkle (ME ’01) has been named a 2015 Step Ahead Award recipient by The Manufacturing Institute.

Juliana Van Winkle has built her career on continuous quality improvement of manufacturing processes. That internal role for her firm has now garnered the 2001 Rose-Hulman mechanical engineering alumna national recognition.

As Quality Systems and Supplier Quality Engineering Manager of Modine Manufacturing Company in Racine, Wisconsin, Van Winkle is among 130 women in the country who received The Manufacturing Institute’s 2015 Step Ahead Award on March 27.

Each year, the award is given to women across a broad array of industries. The honorees are selected for exemplifying industry leadership and success in their respective companies.

Since joining the heat transfer products company in 2003, Van Winkle has earned Six Sigma Black Belt status, and served in a mentoring role as Modine Operating/Production System (MOS/MPS ) coach, and later as North American Regional MOS/MPS coach. Her work in boosting quality and efficiency has generated a number of systems improvements and cost savings for Modine.

“As I moved into a coach/mentor role it was great seeing other people get excited about improvement,” Van Winkle says. “Doing work that directly results in safer, more controlled, and more efficient manufacturing processes is highly motivating to teams and can bring up the morale of the entire workforce.”

She says she especially enjoys the satisfaction that comes with knowing that she has contributed to efficiency gains and overall improvement within her company. Van Winkle credits Rose-Hulman with giving her the foundation she needed to find collaborative solutions and become an effective team leader and award-winning manufacturing professional.

“Every course I took helped prepare me for working in teams, solving problems, and communicating effectively,” she says—skills still emphasized at Rose-Hulman today, and highly sought by employers. “Many of the professors at Rose-Hulman had great industry experience and told their stories in class. This helped in understanding some of the real-world problems that I could be facing.”