Laura Thomas
Commissioning & Startup Leader
The Dow Chemical Company

“Working in manufacturing is such a great opportunity to impact people's lives. Our products end up in items used all over the world on a day to day basis, and we can set the industry tone and standard for being sustainable and responsible in the future.”

Laura has demonstrated great leadership throughout her time with the Dow Chemical Company. She played a crucial role in the success of the construction of an ethylene plant (LHC-9) in Freeport, TX—a true megaproject. Laura was heavily involved both design and construction for the new plant, which upon completion had an immediate and immense positive impact on the company, delivering on-spec product well ahead of two major competitors.

In her current role, helping lead a $180M expansion of the LHC-9 facility, Laura worked with Dow’s procurement experts to evaluate lower-cost suppliers. As a result, almost $11M was saved with no diminution in quality or safety. As Commissioning and Startup Leader for the expansion project, Laura continues to keep costs low while maintaining high safety and quality standards.

Laura played a major role in the inaugural Dow Girls in STEM Day earlier this year, where more than 475 sixth grade girls participated in a full day of activities, meeting Dow employees from the biology, physics, engineering and chemistry fields. As one of two leads for the Engineering Room during the event, Laura defined room layout, prepped materials, trained volunteers and even acquired a 3D printer to highlight the interaction of multiple STEM fields. The event was an overwhelming success, and Laura has already committed to help with the 2019 event, excited to continue inspiring young women to choose engineering as a career path. One of her mantras when serving at these events is “Engineers are cool, not nerds!”

In her community, Laura has also volunteered for Read Across America Day, worked with the United Way, helped with multiple Dow Habitat for Humanity builds and coastal cleanup efforts, fostered dogs for a local animal shelter, and filled backpacks with nutritious food and school supplies on behalf of the Brazoria County Dream Center, which serves underprivileged children.

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