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Meet Shadrach Stephens of Re.engineer in Pearland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shadrach Stephens.

Shadrach Stephens is a Global Improvement and Reliability Leader for Dow Inc. and is also the Founder of Re.engineer which is an open-source community of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals that collaborate and share value-added solutions and innovations. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. Shadrach is also a recipient of Plant Engineering <40 Engineering Leaders, HART Plant of the Year and the Southern University Alumni Federation 40 under Forty. Throughout his career, he has been committed to recruiting and mentoring young professionals, leveraging his professional skill set to support local community initiatives and positively influencing teams to excel in their manufacturing operations.

In 2019, he founded Re.engineer to ignite a radical, collaboration movement that leads to more knowledge sharing in the world of STEM, Diversity & Inclusion, and Continuous Improvement. Throughout his career, Shadrach has participated in mentoring workshops at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and has recruited at minority-focused national engineering societies. It was during these sessions that he identified an opportunity for senior-level STEM professionals to give back to the next generation of STEM leaders by sharing content regarding their successes and failures.

Ultimately, Re.engineer = collaboration + value creation + inspiration.

Has it been a smooth road?
Collaboration is the new tech and in order for professionals to thrive in the 21st century, they must engage. This has actually been one of the most difficult obstacles that we have faced so far; breaking down the barriers between experienced and entry/junior level professionals. All of the most successful projects that I have completed in my career have been the result of collaboration from diverse teams. Sure, it takes time for the team to understand and respect each other’s professional backgrounds and experiences, but the results are magical once that team starts to trust each other. At Re.engineer, we have been very intentional about showcasing content that crosses into timelines that stretch from the beginning of the industrial revolution into the latest innovations that our millennials have produced. Both generations can provide significant perspectives into how improvements can be realized and when we regulate our unconscious bias, we can focus on what makes all of us valuable.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Re.engineer story. Tell us more about it.
God has blessed me with a fruitful career and I have made it my life long purpose to create value in every position that I have been called to serve. Re.engineer is just an extension of that purpose and by definition, we aim to radically change and improve the design of products, services or systems. Our objective is to generate $100 million of value creation stories across our social media communities and we are building this platform to offer a voice to the next generation of professionals; one that enables them to leverage solutions, techniques, innovation, technology, and overall leadership perspectives.

Imagine logging into your Re.engineer account, posting a challenge that you are experiencing at work, in your business or at home, and within an hour have several responses in your inbox with some perspective on how to address that challenge… well, that’s the power of Re.engineer!

The special thing about Re.engineer is that you do not have to be a trained engineer to participate. Re-engineering is actually completed by all people across many professional backgrounds. If you have ever improved upon the status quo, then you have re.engineered!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The three value creation areas that we focus on at Re.engineer are STEM, Diversity & Inclusion and Continuous Improvement and each one of these are some of the most engaging topics across all industries. Each of the STEM disciplines has been very strong over the last decade, but the next big shift that will continue to trend upwards is in Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), and one career path that will benefit from both is Data Science. US Black Engineer just published an article highlighting that $8.25 million of funding will be used to train the next generation of Data Scientists. Innovation has become a standard in the manufacturing sector and we will need skilled technician and engineers to deploy advanced data analytics and interpretation techniques if we intend to enable value creation from these new technologies.

Even though much progress has been made in D&I, there is still more work to do. A recent salary survey from (1995 to 2015) for STEM professionals indicates that the gap has actually widened between males and females and also between race and ethnicity. I believe the next big improvement in D&I will be focused on closing the gender and race wage gap.

Throughout my career, I have seen the evolution of some of the most common improvement methodologies, such as Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Kaizen, etc. and the next big shift in delivering sustainable improvements is Re.engineer! LOL! On a serious note, how we collaborate between business sectors, geographies, professionals, academics, generations, etc. or crowdsourcing will the next big trend to watch out for in problem-solving and continuous improvements. Many companies are introducing crowdsourcing to grow their engineering capabilities and find solutions to unsolved technical challenges.

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Image Credit:
VintageSoul Photography

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