Meredith Biechele, SDM Certificate ’22, has won the 2023 Rising Technical Contributor award from the Society of Women Engineers. Meredith is an Advanced R&D Engineer at John Deere and a member of the Society. She was recognized for her leadership in the development of battery-electric prototype vehicles, which paved the way for commercially available electric mowing equipment, as well as research in swappable batteries and protecting cargo ships from electric vehicle fires.
Meredith completed the MIT SDM Graduate Certificate in Systems and Product Development in 2023. Students in the certificate program are usually sponsored by an employer and continue to work full-time while taking SDM’s integrated core class alongside students in the master’s program. Certificate students also complete an additional capstone project, which focuses on applying principles and methods from the core class to a high-priority project within their organization. John Deere has been sponsoring students in SDM’s certificate program for 15 years. Meredith’s capstone project for the certificate was titled “Battery Second Life Applications” and investigated sustainable applications for batteries in John Deere products that had reached the end of their lifespan. “We hoped to create additional value and revenue for batteries coming out of our vehicles instead of recycling them,” Meredith said, noting that this will support John Deere’s goal of reducing their CO2 emissions by thirty percent by the year 2030.
The Rising Technical Contributor award will be presented at SWE’s annual conference WE23, which will be held on October 26-28, 2023. For more information on SWE, please visit swe.org.