Deirdre Brockwell       
Staff Researcher           
USG Corporation


“In manufacturing, I can combine my theoretical and practical knowledge in a meaningful way and am rewarded with real, tangible results. I am so motivated by the process of taking raw materials and turning them into products that improve people's lives.”

As a Staff Researcher in the ceilings lab at USG’s Corporate Innovation Center, Deirdre develops early stage concepts and research to expand and strengthen USG’s ceilings portfolio. She is currently involved in producing a high-quality, lower-cost ceiling tile, a project that promises a multi-million-dollar profit with the help of Deirdre’s knowledge and skills.

Deirdre takes strong initiative to resolve problems, saving costs and labor for the company. During her time as a Project Engineer at USG’s Greenville, Mississippi plant, Deirdre recognized that fiberglass board lines did not run as quickly as they should have. She identified where the slowdown was happening, then applied a solution that increased speeds by up to 20 percent. Deirdre also significantly improved the quality in the finishing detail, resulting in a large savings to the company.

Deirdre gives back to the next generation of females in STEM whenever possible. Besides her work as a mentor, she is a member of USG’s Women in Innovation group, which connects female researchers and engineers and promotes career advancement. She is a member of USG’s New Talent Employee Resource Group, where she helps employees identify and achieve goals related to public speaking and leadership skills. In the community, Deirdre and her team have organized the KIDstruction Zone at the Busy Brains Children’s Museum. Their meaningful exhibits and experiments, including a place where kids can build and demolish structures with a real Bobcat, realistic jackhammer and steel beams, encourage students to develop a love and aptitude for STEM.

Elsewhere in the community, Deirdre personally leads and participates in the Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon as well as many food drives and blood drives. She is also currently organizing a donation drive for a local women’s shelter, and recently participated in a “MuckFest” fun run to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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