ArcelorMittal leader an inspiration to women in engineering

ArcelorMittal leader an inspiration to women in engineering

Back in 2017, ArcelorMittal engineer Kelly Dallas took home the Northwest Indiana Influential Women Award for Most Influential Woman. Out of 10 industry categories, Dallas took top honors in the Construction/Architecture/Engineering category that year for her role as Principal Engineer. Recently, Dallas has been promoted from Principal Engineer to Division Manager, which is quite an accomplishment in the male-dominated field, and she only sees success for her future. 

ArcelorMittal encourages all employees to seize every opportunity to develop themselves and push their boundaries and that is what Kelly Dallas has done for the past 21 years.

As Division Manager, Dallas manages the corporate engineering group, works with the USA plants, and manages the CapEx budget. As a Principal Engineer, Dallas worked as the project manager for the Burns Harbor walking beam furnace installation, which is one of the largest USA projects ArcelorMittal has led.

“We have a year left on the [Burns Harbor] project so I will continue to be the manager of that while also taking on the responsibilities of my new Division Manager position,” Dallas said.

It wasn’t until 10 years after high school that Dallas decided to go to college and earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She chose Purdue University Northwest. She then attended Indiana University Northwest to earn her Master of Business Administration.

“I was married and had three children and decided I was going back to school,” Dallas said. “I looked at my strengths and realized they were in math and science, so I chose mechanical engineering as a career path.”

Without a lot of female role models in the industry, Dallas decided to become one. She has taken strides to become someone students and young engineers can look up to, including taking leadership roles with AIST (Association for Iron and Steel Technology) including their new Women of Steel Roundtable. 

“It’s good for industry to have diversity in general,” Dallas said. “Whenever you sit and have different viewpoints on a situation or project, it helps any business learn and grow, because otherwise you could continue going down the same narrow path.”

Dallas advises any young women to go into a field they’re good at, no matter if it’s male-dominated.

“When I look around, there’s not a lot of women in leadership like there should be,” Dallas said. “I don’t want that to deter young ladies or make them think that they don’t have any options to go into a field because they think they can never get to a leadership position. You never know - they could be the first one.”

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