Meet Emilee: Manufacturing Software Enthusiast

  • Published:
    Apr 21, 2022
  • Category:
    Apprentice All-Stars
“I am an artistic engineer; I take complex technical data and present it in a comprehensible way. Endeavoring to bring human-centered design into engineering throughout product design and new product development, I constantly push to always learn and grow in UX and HCD practices. I believe at the crux of technical problem solving, design, and human connection is the field of my passion: product management.”

Get to Know Emilee

What motivates you? Pharma manufacturing saves lives. Working with operators, process owners, software developers and designers collaboratively building solutions that get therapies, like the COVID-19 vaccine, to patients faster is something you can’t help but resonate with! Manufacturing is a full circle of impact.

What’s your work superpower? I actually enjoy the No. 1 fear of the human race: public speaking. This allows me to thrive in identifying opportunities, developing solution strategies and facilitating teams to accomplish them. I love it so much I went and got certified in facilitating workshops. If I run a meeting, expect post-its, whiteboards or MURAL to be used! 

What’s your non-work superpower? Creating! I’ve got a knack for painting on glass, designing t-shirts and random DIY things! 

How do you spend your free time? Checking out St. Pete’s local breweries, lounging on our beautiful beaches with a great book and random arts & crafts.

Where do you like to travel? Places completely different from tropical Florida that have significant history. My trips galavanting across cities in Italy and Ireland hold a special place in my heart. And I LOVE attending engineering, product management and pharma conferences to keep my skills sharp!

Random facts:

  • Has 1 US Patent and 1 Patent Pending
  • Certified in Human Centered Design, Facilitation, Technology Management, User Research and Scrum
  • In her younger years, taught high school marching band as well as dance

Apprentice MES Superstar

Emilee leads software development teams to build better products and improve experiences for manufacturing personnel by tapping into real user data. Emilee actively works with pharmaceutical manufacturers, designing software to accelerate technology transfer, support modular manufacturing and increase product quality throughout the drug lifecycle. 

She applies design thinking approaches to collaboratively create solutions with manufacturing personnel through experiences such as founding an annual workshop at Emerson where manufacturing experts come together with developers to identify, ideate and solve problems over three days.

30 under 30: STEP Ahead Emerging Leader

Emilee was recently honored as a STEP Ahead 30 Under 30 Emerging Leader. The STEP Ahead Awards celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Production careers who have made outstanding achievements in their companies and communities.

This program provides women like Emilee with the tools and motivation to pay it forward and inspire the next generation. View the gala.

Behind the Scenes at Emilee’s Conference Talks

Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference, October 2021

At WE21, Emilee presented one of her favorite talks to a packed house where they had to turn folks away about Using Design Thinking to Innovate in Engineering. Here she shared her love for the intersection of the scientific method and design by sharing five tools that can be used to take teams quickly and effectively through the design process to solve a problem.

BPI West, March 2022

As a member of the BioPhorum MES of the Future workstream, Emilee was an author on a recent publication, the MES of the Future Manifesto. To help evangelize the manifesto to the industry, Emilee presented a session in San Diego MES of the Future - A Call to Action from the Biomanufacturing Industry to the Vendors of MES

She dove into the problems with traditional, older MES systems, identifying that there is a vast gap between the industry needs today and the reality of what legacy MES systems provide. Then, she highlighted the five target areas of action for the MES of the future: Modular Architecture, Recipe Management, Initial Deployment, Operation & Support, and Integration & Data Access. 

Pharma MES USA 2022

To further evangelize the MES of the future, Emilee was a panelist at the Pharma MES USA panel discussion: How does the MES of the future look? She shared her views on the industry topic by answer questions like:

  • What problems and scenarios are not solved by current MES solutions? 
  • Why do they even need to change? 
  • How big is the gap between current MES solutions and the biomanufacturing industry? 
  • If you could dream up what the perfect MES solution does, looks like, and feels like, what would it be?

Emilee noted that the MES of the future must be designed for the true users of the systems: process owners, scientists and operators seamlessly across every stage of the drug lifecycle. 

“The MES of the future isn’t even called an M. E. S. as we know it today. It will be simple components for Procedures, Equipment and Materials that anyone can configure and anyone can use at any scale.”

World Café Session

To finish off the Pharma MES event, Emilee led users through a round table discussion. Her topic? Exploring the biggest challenges to tech transfer in pharma manufacturing, for a new product introduction, transfer site to site, and transfer client to CMO.

Some of the questions Emilee covered in her session:

  • What are the technological tools and systems challenges? 
  • What are the resources, processes, and organizational challenges? 
  • How does a recipe evolve from preclinical to clinical to commercial? 
  • How does a recipe evolve when transferred from one site to another or from a client to a CMO? 
  • What are the challenges preventing global collaborations and tech transfers across manufacturing teams?
  • If I had a magic wand, what would the perfect tech transfer solution look like?

Emilee’s Community Outreach

Emilee is deeply devoted to encouraging and supporting women and youth in STEM roles, both within organizations and the local community. She founded a “Pie a Manager on Pi Day” event annually raising funds for Girls Who Code, hosted an annual “We Love STEM Day” for K-8th graders, and continues to facilitate strategy and problem-solving workshops for women.

Emilee also volunteers with local students, participating annually in the Great American Teach-In at local underprivileged elementary schools. She brings her love of STEM to local classrooms by volunteering to lead students through engaging hands-on STEM activities.

 Apprentice engineer Josh Morgan taking one for the team on Pi Day

Emilee, thanks for all you do to strengthen and motivate our team! You're an inspiration.

Are You Our Next Apprentice Employee Spotlight?

Want to work with brilliant engineers and thought leaders like Emilee Cook? Check out our open positions today! Explore careers at Apprentice.

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