Katherine Hoerner
Project Manager -- Polycarbonates
Covestro LLC

“Manufacturing is an extremely flexible field. No matter how my interests change, there will always be a new and exciting role to take on. There is never a dull moment, and each day brings new challenges that we get to work together and solve.”

Katherine was hired by Covestro as a project control specialist for the company’s largest North American production site, in Baytown, TX. After a year, her esteemed colleague and mentor left the company. Although she had limited industry experience, Katherine seized this as a growth opportunity and secured the open position. Practically overnight, her role shifted from doing tasks under the supervision of a seasoned professional to stepping up as lead controller for the Basic Chemicals unit.

Today, Katherine serves as project manager in the polycarbonates business unit. Her first project there was an optimization project to reduce preheating failures. By implementing a new design in two of six product lines, Katherine reduced failures by two-thirds annually, saving the company between $1.8 million and $2.25 million per year.

Katherine found her passion for engineering in high school, inspired by a technology teacher who introduced her to resources like Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing. She is now an inspiring role model for young women, helping to spark an early interest in STEM by sharing her perspective as a female engineer in manufacturing. She represents Covestro at career fairs, STEM-focused panel discussions and high-impact initiatives like Girls in STEM. Through Girls in STEM, Katherine also personally mentors high school juniors, counseling them through the college application process and advising them on what to expect in the STEM workforce. 

Katherine’s passion for giving back to the community has led her to take on a role that helps others give back too. As secretary and treasurer for the Outreach Council at Covestro’s Baytown site, Katherine coordinates and manages volunteer activities for employees. This is a large task, and in 2017 the site logged 2,786 volunteer hours. Katherine also personally volunteers with organizations such as the United Way, with whom she recently helped build a wheelchair-friendly dugout at a local YMCA.

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