Video Insights: Leading Through Uncertainty

May 6, 2021
Ellen Kullman, CEO of Carbon, talks about leading in difficult times and fostering opportunities for women.

No stranger to the art and science of running large corporations, Ellen Kullman doesn’t shy away from leading through uncertainty.

The Delaware native became CEO of chemical giant DuPont at the end of the 2008 financial downturn, then took the reins as CEO of Carbon, a 3D printing tech venture, in November 2019 just as the pandemic unfolded.

Both are dream jobs by any standard. And both presented challenges right out of the gate.

Whether managing 400 people or 40,000, “the basics are the same,” said Kullman. “The first thing any leader has to do is to make sure that they have a team that is not only capable, but excited and energized about doing the work that’s ahead.”

In this video podcast with Machine Design Senior Editor Rehana Begg, Kullman provides insights into Carbon’s response to the pandemic by using Carbon’s Design Engine technology to figure out ways to tackle some of the bigger issues of medical supply shortages, including a novel design for a Resolution Medical Swab.

Kullman, who considers herself a “manufacturing person,” further discusses how she harnessed her technical skills (she holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering) and business skills to rise through the ranks.

When it comes to fostering more opportunities for women in manufacturing, Kullman suggests organizations use data to analyze discrepancies in human resources policies and their history on promotions.

She offers a word of caution against behaviors that deepen the gender divide: “Instead of creating a blame atmosphere, you’ve got to make [men] part of the solution by engaging them and saying, ‘how do we make this better?’”

Full Story: Lattice Design Enables 3D-Printed Nasal Swab Production

Sponsored Recommendations

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.


May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Solenoid Valve Basics: What They Are, What They Do, and How They Work

May 13, 2024
A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device used to control the flow of a liquid or gas. It is comprised of two features: a solenoid and a valve. The solenoid is an electric...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!