Dr Bridgette Shannon is a chemical engineer at 3M. She develops groundbreaking products at work stemming from her love of chemistry.
At school, Bridgette loved the challenges chemistry class provided. Even though she was warned not to take chemistry at a higher level, she enjoyed mixing things together to create new compounds. She started attending STEM summer camps and programmes where she realised she wanted to focus on the medical sciences.
She went on to receive her Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from Henderson State University, later followed by a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Arkansas.
Bridgette shadowed several physicians to gain a better understanding of what it takes to be in that profession. With the support of her family, mentors, and teachers, she was exposed to several professions to help her decide where she wanted to do later in life.
“I learned throughout the years that you cannot be shy about asking for help, and persistence will take you a long way. A wise man once said….”Nothing is hard, but everything takes time”.”
In Dr Shannon’s professional career, every project that she has worked on has been fun. Her current project gives her the opportunity to develop minerals that can cut through metal, ceramics, and wood. This project allows her to operate different machining equipment to test the minerals. This gives her better insight into tooling, machining processes, material characteristics.
“I probably would not have explored this area if it were not for my prior exposure to STEM related projects. I am glad that I did!”
Dr Shannon’s past work has included developing a honeycomb material that nests in a car’s catalytic converter. The honeycomb has a thin coat of precious metal that neutralizes toxic exhaust compounds.