Laura Szpot
Manager Routings and Applications, Middletown Works
AK Steel Corporation

“The steel industry makes some of the most useful, versatile and recyclable products in the world. Our products are making the lives of everyday Americans better and safer. I feel I am contributing to society through my work. AK Steel Corp also encourages their employees to volunteer within the community.”

With over 37 years of experience with AK Steel, Laura has become one of the company’s key experts in customer specifications and product routings. In reviewing customers’ requests, Laura is skilled at identifying potential problems and solving them before the work begins. Her extensive knowledge and strong relationships provide the perfect foundation for follow-up discussions, helping AK Steel to satisfy customer needs while preventing extra costs and delays.

Laura has been a voting member of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) since 2001. Representing AK Steel’s interests, she has successfully challenged ASTM proposals to change certain specifications for commercial steel. She also worked on the SAE/Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) committee to combine U.S. and European specs, where her advocacy was vital on issues important to the company.

Since 2017, Laura has managed the Middletown Works Product Metallurgy group, in which she has mentored incoming metallurgists to AK Steel. She has also served as a professional mentor to several young female engineers in her group, one of whom has been nominated as an emerging leader at the company. In addition, Laura has attended the Girl Scouts STEM Day, sharing her experience as a woman in manufacturing.

Laura also participates in AK Steel’s volunteer program AK CARES, which supports local communities. In coordination with AK Steel’s Quality Control group and the Middletown Works facility, she has coordinated, purchased and provided countless meals to Hope House, a nonprofit that helps homeless individuals rebuild their lives. In her volunteer roles, as in her professional roles, if Laura identifies a need, she doesn’t just mention it; she takes any and all necessary steps to personally fill it.

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