Metalcasting operations and technology suppliers need fresh minds and new skills, just like every other business in every other industry, but identifying, training, and recruiting that talent is an ongoing battle. For more than 50 years the Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF) has been working to expedite the process, awarding funds to dedicated university-level programs in metalcasting education, providing scholarships to students, and sponsoring networking opportunities to introduce them to the professional ranks. Last month the Foundation landed a significant new asset for its efforts.
The FEF announced a new scholarship program endowed by a $100,000 gift from Dr. Katherine E. Mortimer, whose contribution will work to increase the enrollment of women in metalcasting programs, aiming to raise their involvement at the professional level. FEF indicated the funds would be used to assist women students to defray school-related expenses.
The first annual scholarship from Dr. Katherine E. Mortimer Scholarship for Women in Metal Casting will be presented in November at the FEF College Industry Conference.
Dr. Mortimer is herself an exceptionally accomplished woman. A 10-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran, her professional life has ranged from private finance to sports apparel, to executive assistant to the vice president of engineering at Inductotherm Corporation. After five years in business, she returned to college and earned a B.S. at Rider University, winning scholarships and graduating with awards. Then, she earned a M.S. at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Education at Nova South Eastern University. She then went to work teaching business at a large public secondary school.
Katherine is married to John H. Mortimer, P.E., chairman and CEO of Inductotherm, with whom she shares four children and five grandchildren. Now retired, she remains committed to increasing the representation of women in metalcasting. She believes that providing financial support to women who interested in studying foundry technologies and businesses will change this under representation.
“I am very proud of this opportunity to help future generations of women through this partnership with FEF,” Dr. Mortimer said “I am passionate about the equality of business opportunity for men and women,” she said. “I support assisting young women in earning a solid education and achieving excellence in business practices. This will enable women to advance in the metalcasting industry which will benefit our society.”