Susan L. Korpela
- BS Chemical Engineering 1978
Ms. Korpela joined the 3M Company after earning a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1978. Ms. Korpela worked on adhesive products for industrial and automotive applications providing product/process development and technical service. This included worldwide manufacturing scale-up and training. She held various management positions starting in 1984, including supervisor for automotive tape products and lab manager for an acquisition manufacturing decorative automotive emblems with joint venture alliances in Japan. With her technical flexibility, she also managed new product opportunities for the automotive industry, including exploring electronic applications and mergers and acquisitions. A joint venture provided commercialization management opportunities in flat flexible cables and LED lighting. This resulted in an automotive light management film lamination enterprise with MTU. In 2008 she joined the fuel cell components group and currently is the automotive project manager. Throughout her career her real passion was in K-12 STEM education recognizing the importance the Women in Engineering workshop had on her life in 1974. She has been a role model speaker on many occasions, and secured 3M Foundation financial support. She also organized the 3M participation at the MTU YES Expo in Detroit. At 3M, she has chaired the Technical Forum Academic Relations Committee, Visiting Women Scientist outreach and the AAUW Business Partner youth mentoring. At MTU, she is a past member of the Chemical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, and current member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae, the Corporate Advisory Board for Institutional Diversity, and the Presidents Club.