Renee Matala

2020 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader

Resin Operations Engineer

The constantly evolving landscape of manufacturing affords me the opportunity to solve age old problems with new ideas, while still encountering brand new challenges every day. I enjoy working in a setting where embracing safety, reliability and the environment as core values directly correlate to productivity and business success.

Renee’s deep skill and innovation have greatly improved both processes and products at SABIC. For instance, the company’s Burkeville operation observed that scrubber strainer pumps were requiring frequent manual swaps due to process agglomeration. This was a safety issue for the operators. Renee identified a way for an operator to swap strainers remotely via an HOA switch. The new design was successfully piloted and is now being translated to remaining strainers, reducing risks across the plant. Renee’s work on this project has increased employee satisfaction and engagement because the operators know that both she and SABIC are deeply committed to their safety.

Renee has served as assignment leader for several co-ops and as assignment manager for a member of SABIC’s early career engineering development program. In these mentorship roles, Renee creates meaningful experiences that encourage her mentees to grow and showcase their skills as engineers. She also helps them learn how to productively engage operators, mechanics and other engineers. Renee’s mentees learn that in a real-world work situation, very little can be solved or implemented on one’s own. She builds their confidence in their own abilities to successfully navigate these relationships and achieve their goals and those of the organization.

Outside of work, Renee is dedicated to serving others through her faith community. She recently co-led “Midnight Run,” a mission to deliver necessities to homeless people in New York City. Renee mobilized teams who collected and prepared the donations beforehand. Then the team arrived in the city at midnight and spent the early morning hours hand-delivering clothing and food to homeless people on the streets. Not only did “Midnight Run” help people in need; it helped participating team members as well, reminding them to look past boundaries, labels and judgment and remember that we are all humans first.