Growing up near Akron, Ohio, Cara Adams didn’t expect to find her dream career in her hometown. Yet, she is chief engineer for Akronbased Bridgestone Americas Motorsports, the manager of Firestone Racing’s race tire development team, and the first and only female lead engineer to work in the Verizon IndyCar® Series. As chief engineer,
Adams oversees the design, development, and trackside support of Firestone race tires used in the series, leading a talented team that designs tires for some of the most demanding driving situations. Adams’ love of science, combined with the influence of her mother, a science teacher; her father, a professor of Spanish; and engineer grandfather, led her to double major in mechanical engineering and Spanish at The University of Akron. There, she participated in Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) student competitions and discovered her affinity for race cars through a course that included designing, building, and racing an open-wheel style car. She graduated in 2002. Launching her career at Bridgestone’s Consumer Tire Division, Adams set her sights on the racing division and prepared in every way she could, even purchasing textbooks to supplement her knowledge.
Who Are the Women Engineers We Should Know?
Quite often, those who are behind the scenes and out of the limelight make real change in the workplace and in our communities. It is our intention to recognize such women and make their efforts better known in our SWE Magazine series “Women Engineers You Should Know.”
Casting a wide net, SWE Magazine staff and editorial board members seek contemporary women whose lives have embodied the Society’s mission to: “Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force for improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.”
Through a variety of means, including fielding suggestions and conducting archival research, we will examine the stories of many women who have made a difference in these critical areas. Determining a final list is a daunting challenge, and our selections are in no way meant to be definitive. While some names you may recognize, many are not recognizable to most people. From a variety of perspectives, in different environments and moments in time, these women represent “ordinary” when doing “extraordinary” things. In saluting them, we are saluting all the women, known and unknown, past and present, who have advanced our mission.
Nominate women engineers to know for our next article. The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 28, 2018. Submit nominations here.
With each submission, please include the following.
- Nominee info: name, why her, links supporting your nomination, areas of expertise, where is she located
- Nominator info: name, email, how you know the nominee
Thanks for your help, and look for the Spring 2019 issue of SWE Magazine.