Women who think math and engineering aren’t cool have not met Gretchen McClain.

I met Gretchen myself through the Utah Technology Council (UTC) where I serve as a member of the Executive Committee. That association is inducting McClain into its Hall of Fame – its 17th since the program’s inception in 1998 – on November 2 of this year. The program honors individuals with Utah ties who’ve made global contributions towards the advancement of science and technology. She is the program’s first female inductee.

In short, McClain’s message to other entrepreneurs is this: “To be clear, I had no idea where my career would take me. There is no way I could have plotted the path my career took. But for anyone studying or working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), you have an exciting future in front of you. Now is your time.”

McClain began her career as a mechanical engineer designing and analyzing filament wound composite cases used by NASA and the Department of Defense in propulsion systems. She advanced her career from engineering into the executive management and private industry. McClain has served as the founding CEO of an S&P500 company (one of 24 women) and held top executive positions at multiple government and private organizations including Xylem, a global water technology company with $3.8B in revenue, which she helped to spin-off from ITT. She served for 9 years with NASA, as Deputy Associate Administrator of Human Space Exploration and Chief Director of the International Space Station (ISS). She played a pivotal leadership role in the development and launch of the ISS program and Shuttle/Mir mission and received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for her service. — Cheryl Conner

Read more in Forbes.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education. By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.