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National engineers WeekWe are proud of the nearly 3,000 engineers that work hard every day at ATK locations from coast to coast. National Engineers Week celebrates the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions. ATK locations and staff support the STEM Foundation by participating in local events that help the our youth become familiar with the many possibilities available in engineering fields.

Karen Davies, the vice president of business integration and operations at ATK Defense, has been named one of the nation’s “100 Women Leaders in STEM” by the nonprofit STEMconnector.

The recognition focuses on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers and initiatives of women across business and industry. The honorees share the commitment of serving as mentors and sponsors of those who will follow them in STEM careers.

Davies shared some of her thoughts about STEM education and careers:

My 9-year-old granddaughter proudly announced last week that she wants to be one of two things — either a paleontologist or a chocolatier. It gives me great hope for our country’s future that she even knows that paleontologists exist and that she can be one if she chooses. However, keeping her ambition alive, along with the ambitions of our other bright future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, is one of the most critical challenges that we face.

We attract only a small minority of our children, particularly girls, into STEM education and careers. Changing this is critical for the future of our country. Without the right people who are prepared to succeed in STEM fields, the economic engine that has fueled the U.S. will simply not be able to continue doing so.

Davies leads the integrated operations function of the $2 billion business group, with 6,000 employees in 10 states. This includes functional responsibility for operations, quality, safety, environmental, performance improvement and LEAN initiatives, integrated supply-chain management, and business systems/information technology. She has been with ATK for 32 years in various leadership and business positions.

“My passion for STEM centers on the future, especially for our future generations, who will be chartered with keeping the U.S. as an economic and innovation powerhouse,” Davies said. “Helping them prepare to meet that challenge is critical.”