Paige Kassalen, a 22 year old electrical engineer was the youngest member and only American on the ground crew of Solar Impulse, the first airplane to circle the globe powered by the sun.
She has also achieved being one of 600 individuals selected from a pool of more than 15,000 nominees to be named a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017.
Kassalen was named to the Energy list in recognition of her role on the Solar Impulse ground crew.
Covestro, a long-time leader in sustainability, played a key role in helping Solar Impulse achieve its mission to complete the first-ever, round-the-world flight without using a single drop of fossil fuel.
A partner since 2010, Covestro provided advanced materials and technical expertise for several applications in the solar-powered airplane, including its silver coating, door, cockpit window and insulation.
(See the Solar Impulse in Action! Courtesy of SOLAR IMPULSE and YouTube)
Covestro, which also strongly supports STEM education, selected Kassalen to represent the company during the plane’s historic journey as a member of the ground crew. Kassalen was the first U.S. female engineer – as well as being the youngest – to serve on this predominately male team.
“My experience traveling the world with Solar Impulse gave me a chance to apply my technical background in a new and exciting way,” said Kassalen.
“I’m grateful to Covestro for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the company and, in turn, enable me to show the next generation that if you pursue a career in STEM, the sky’s the limit – literally!”
“Science is at the heart of everything we do at Covestro,” said Jerry MacCleary, president of Covestro, LLC in North America.
“To continue to be a leader in materials technology that will solve the challenges of tomorrow, we need to ensure that we are inspiring the next generation of scientists. Through her role on the Solar Impulse team, and now as a mentor to other young women interested in STEM careers, Paige is doing just that.”
Solar Impulse was the mission of two pioneering pilots – Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg – and a team of 90 engineers, technicians and mission controllers to fly around the world in a solar plane to explore and promote clean technologies.
In July 2016, Solar Impulse successfully completed its mission, breaking aviation records along the way.
In August 2016, Covestro became the first partner of the International Committee for Clean Technology (ICCT). This organization, founded by the Solar Impulse pilots, strives to continue advancing clean technologies and sustainable solutions in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Covestro, is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion.
Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life.
The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.