Alumna wins MAKE award

An alumna from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State University was recognized this month by the Manufacturing Institute as one of the 2023 Women MAKE Award winners.

Rashmi Vadlakonda, a 2018 MAE graduate, was selected as a recipient of The Manufacturing Institute’s 2023 Women MAKE Awards (previously known as the STEP Ahead Awards), a national award program that honors women across all levels of the manufacturing industry who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers.

The MAKE awards recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their companies. In 2023, the prestigious program is recognizing 100 women and 30 Emerging Leaders, a category to honor women under the age of 30 who have achieved unique accomplishments at the start of their careers.  Vadlakonda was among the highly selective group of 2023’s Emerging Leaders.

“I believe that for young women in manufacturing, especially for me as an immigrant young woman of color … a title helps,” Vadlakonda said about the award. “This award gives me that title [and] the courage that I need to speak up and say, ‘Hey, I have something to share, and I want you to listen to me. There’s a reason I was recognized.’”

She now works in Columbia, South Carolina as a Manufacturing Engineer with Ireland-Based manufacturing company Trane Technologies, where she has played a vital part in the company’s integration of 3D printing technology at its manufacturing facilities and engineering centers.  

She also works with students in her community and represents her organization in CreatorsWanted, a campaign by the National Association of Manufacturers to inspire young people to pursue careers in manufacturing. Rashmi also serves as Vice Chair of Women in Manufacturing’s (WiM) South Carolina chapter and is a member of the WiM Internal Steering Committee for Trane Technologies.

Vadlakonda and her fellow honorees will be recognized during the 2023 MAKE Awards Ceremony on April 20, 2023.