Olga K. Rowan

Caterpillar Inc.

As a senior research engineer at Caterpillar, Olga K. Rowan has led a range of development efforts, establishing advanced heat treatment quality control systems, business case analyses for new manufacturing equipment installations, and various projects to ensure the quality and performance of components. She is responsible for cash flow analysis and business case recommendations for new capital installations, and leverages her bilingual skills for Caterpillar’s Dealer/Customer Interpreter program.

Active with ASM International, the world’s largest association of materials-centric engineers and scientists, Rowan chaired its Emerging Professionals Committee, organizing international symposiums and establishing the ASM Emerging Professionals Achievement Award, among other accomplishments. She served four years on the ASM Education Committee and has been a strong leader in the local chapter for years, chairing its Education, Volunteerism, Publicity and Program committees. 

Dedicated to the advancement of heat treating as a theoretical and applied discipline, Rowan serves on the board of ASM International’s Heat Treat Society and is co-chairing the 2019 Heat Treat Society (HTS) Conference and Expo. She was the inaugural recipient of the HTS/Surface Combustion Emerging Leader Award.

For more than a decade, Rowan has served as a mentor and workshop leader for Peoria’s annual ASM Materials Camp for high school students. She has led STEM and science demonstrations for National Engineers Week, Caterpillar’s “Bring Your Child to Work” days, and at events with the National Society of Black Engineers. Among her community service activities, she is involved with Midwest Food Bank, Compassion International, Food for the Poor, Angels of Hope, St. Jude, Living Lands and Waters, and South Side Mission. 

Rowan holds an M.S. in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering. She has chaired technical sessions at international conferences and authored numerous peer-reviewed technical articles. Among her other accolades, she received a Women of Strength Award from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and was named among the “Top 10 Women in Heat Treatment” by an industry publication in 2009. iBi