Wendy Wildenberg

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Systems Technical Lead
Flint Hills Resources

Continuous production processes are exciting as we can fully engage to innovate, create, learn, keep learning, collaborate on teams to resolve important issues, share knowledge, mentor other leaders and  make improvements to both be a great community asset and to meet and exceed customer’s expectations.

Wendy has been a significant contributor to Flint Hills Resources for over 25 years. As an expert in the field of hydroprocessing technology, she has led or contributed to successful optimization activities and large capital investment projects at multiple facilities across the country. Wendy was integral to the development of an innovative technology to produce renewable biodiesel product. Discovering critical relationships between operating variables and stream components led to significant improvement in yields and increased capacity. Wendy combines her practical experience, technical knowledge and strong relationships with industry peers to document and implement best practices that have contributed to a strong process safety performance at FHR.

Wendy has an outstanding reputation within the petrochemical processing industry and has successfully developed an effective approach that she shares through direct mentorship of young engineers. She has a special gift of using stories and familiar analogies to create visual effects with her audience that lead to more intuitive and retained understanding of complex or technical concepts. Her best practices, rules of thumb, and applicable learnings have been shared with hundreds of engineers, operators and maintenance leads over many years.

With her husband, Wendy established and leads a church where she provides continuous support to its members locally and extends her outreach to impoverished communities. Wendy provides emotional and practical support to young mothers in difficult situations, focusing on personal development, crucial life skills and parenting abilities aiming to achieve the goals and confidence necessary for them to lead independent and fulfilling lives. With the help of her family and congregation she has also created a family-friendly program to encourage awareness of practical science in daily life. Through her “Moments in Science” series she is encouraging children and their parents to see life through a scientific lens and promoting future STEM-oriented talent to tackle challenging opportunities.