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Marjorie A. Kiechel, PhD

Senior Associate Scientist, Ingredion Incorporated

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If you see a complex problem, find a way to take the lead in solving it.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a technical leader and drive concept to commercialization to develop structure-function understanding of materials to drive new product innovation.

I am a people manager and project leader with cross functional and cross geographic team members providing technical leadership towards the development of new ingredients/systems based on hydrocolloids, proteins, fibers, natural extracts and starches across multiple platforms of the organization.

Currently, I lead: (1) a global R&D project team to develop novel ingredients for clean label applications; (2) a global initiative team to develop standard protocols to effectively screen for priority ingredients to add to global specialty growth platforms portfolio; and (3) a global microscopy capability, driving structure-function understanding of ingredients.

I also volunteered as a global communications co-lead of Women of Ingredion Network (WIN), a Business Resource Group in Ingredion, with the goal to help women realize their full potential and support Ingredion meet our 2030 goal for achieving gender parity by 2030.

Overall, I help bring the potential of people, nature, and technology together to create ingredient solutions that make life better!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I have three field combined into one - food science, chemistry and materials science and engineering. I chose my fields because it it challenging and there is something to learn. I realized that I wanted to also be unique so the combination of these STEM fields allows me to see things with a different perspective. My role models are my parents, who inspired me to follow what I am passionate about, and established their own businesses based on what they love doing the most.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

Developed with a great team new products/designs that are scalable for commercial use. I wish younger me would have known that I could have done it early - lead a great team, bring an idea to fruition and see products in commerce quick.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love working in STEM because it is challenging and I am helping solve problems quick. Every day, I always look forward to working with my team, solving complex technical problems and learning new things that not everyone in the world has a clue.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

If you see a complex problem, find a way to take the lead in solving it.

INSPO / FUN FACT

"Cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples (Mother Teresa)."