Ellen McIsaac
Composite Structures Engineer
Pratt & Whitney
East Hartford, CT

"I am inspired by Lorna Gibson, one of my professors from MIT. She has balanced incredible success in her work across several disciplines of engineering while serving as a leader in the community. She is kind, approachable, and a thorough and patient teacher. The world needs more people like her.”


Ellen’s unique educational background as both a materials  and a mechanical engineer has enabled her to look at manufacturing problems from multiple perspectives and help to find solutions that create a manufacturable and inspectable product that respects materials capabilities and processing considerations. Her international experience also contributes to her ability to look at technical problems from multiple perspectives.  She is adept with a large range of materials, geometries, operating conditions, and manufacturing techniques, which allows her to demonstrate innovative thinking and cross-functional application.
 
In the aerospace industry, weight is a major factor in deciding on component design. Ellen's expertise in lightweight materials is critical, as decisions are made daily that will impact the company for 40+ years. Recently, she and the team used a combination of finite element modeling, mechanical testing, x-rays, and scanning electron microscopy  to quantify the results of a new lightweight material, and to improve the layup configuration in order to optimize the material properties, strength, and cost of the final component.
 
In addition to being an excellent new engineer at the company, Ellen is heavily involved in two organizations: the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and FIRST Robotics. She has been in SWE leadership for several years and is the immediate past Collegiate Director on the SWE board of directors, a role she fulfilled with intelligence and keen observation. Her involvement in FIRST Robotics started in high school, as a participant in the event, and has grown every year since, recognized by her selection as 2014 Volunteer of the Year for New England.

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