Engineering Trailblazer Anne Stevens ’80 to Address Graduates at College of Engineering Commencement

Anne Stevens
Anne Stevens

Anne Stevens, a pioneer for women in engineering and a leader at Anglo American plc, an FTSE 100 constituent, will receive an honorary degree and address the Class of 2021 at Drexel University’s College of Engineering commencement ceremony. The virtual event is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed at the Drexel University commencement website.

Stevens is an alumna of the materials science and engineering program, a member of the class of 1980 and a former Drexel Trustee. Before joining Anglo American, she was CEO of GKN Aerospace, a multinational components manufacturer whose origins date back to the Industrial Revolution.

“Anne Stevens has been a leader in the mechanical and materials engineering industries for decades,” says Sharon Walker, PhD, Dean of the College of Engineering. “Her career serves as an example for our graduates on finding success on your own terms. We are extraordinarily proud to bestow this honor on her.”

Stevens’ interest in engineering dates back to her childhood, when she attended stock car races with her father. In high school, she disguised herself so she could participate in the male-only pit crew at a track. Her career has similarly broken ground multiple times, including holding roles as the first female CEO of Carpenter Technology Corporation and the first female plant manager and group vice president for Ford Motor Company.

In 2007, Stevens and Lockheed Martin donated $1 million to establish a professorship and the Anne L. Stevens Scholarship Program. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must have demonstrated financial need, and award decisions are made based on academic merit and involvement in societies and activities that advance the participation of women in engineering fields.

“Anne’s path is particularly inspirational for women in STEM, and her generosity champions those who are building on her example,” Walker says.

Previous to her role at GKN, Stevens was a non-executive director of Lockheed Martin. Before her post at Carpenter Technology Corporation, Stevens began her career post-graduation with a job at Exxon, where she spent ten years as a chemical engineer. She has also served as Executive Vice President of Ford Motor Company and Chief Operating Officer of Ford in The Americas, with responsibility for Ford's North and South American product development, vehicle launch, manufacturing, and material purchasing activities. 

Stevens was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 "for leadership in the development and application of creative manufacturing processes, resulting in major improvements in efficiency and product quality and cost savings," and received a distinguished service citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame that same year. She has been named four times to Fortune magazine's list of "50 Most Powerful Women in Business." She was honored with the Drexel College of Engineering's Circle of Distinction award in 2001 and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering's Outstanding Alumna Award in 2003.

Visit the College of Engineering commencement website for more information.

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