Tag Archives: engineering


STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is a small acronym but in no way insignificant.

If we question ourselves about the importance of STEM in our daily lives and take time out to really reflect on the implications of the disciplines encompassed by those four letters, we will admit readily that the whole precept of civilization is one that is supported by STEM.

From the understanding of the solar eclipse as a celestial phenomenon and not the wrath of whimsical gods to the towering skyscrapers and the busy, life-changing labyrinth of the internet, our advancement is hinged on how we understand our surroundings, translate our visions into tangible blueprints and execute the blueprints as per best practices to produce robust structures, theories and paradigms. And these activities need to leverage STEM – heavily!


Tackling the pragmatic first, according to a pronouncement made by the United States Department of Labor, eight out of the ten most lucrative careers and valued employees are closely related to STEM disciplines. The Department of Commerce has unearthed substantial discrepancies and inequality between the wages earned by STEM employees and those from non-STEM backgrounds. For example healthcare workers with associate degrees to doctor of medicine, earn a full 20% more over their lifetime than their peers who hail from non-healthcare niches.

Not only does a STEM centric education increase the quality of life because of better compensation, a child interested in Science and Technology is likelier to land a job straight out of college because STEM occupations grow at the rate of 17%, almost double that of non-STEM sectors.

Over 2008 to 2014, biomedical engineers earned $77,400 as median wage and this average applies to the entire nation! It is no small wonder that other jobs boasting high annual incomes also belong to the STEM paradigm.


Moving away from the strictly practical considerations, STEM and its popularity is also fundamental to the growth and development of the global economy. From semi-conductors which can function at room temperature to an effective cure to the life threatening curse of cancer, without science, technology and engineering, these leaps into the next generation of advancements and monetization is not possible.

US lags far behind its Asian and European counterparts where the adoption of STEM careers is concerned. A US News Survey says that only 1 in 4 graduates in the country belong to STEM educational pursuits. Even though the demand for STEM skills is the highest, a very small percentage of students who hail from science actually choose to stick to the field and seek gainful employment in the concomitant industries and sectors.

If progress is to be made and maintained by the citizens of the country, STEM has to be encouraged in all its forms. Companies must undergo a mind-set shift and look to invest in STEM endeavours instead of ‘brain draining’ other nations to get relevant jobs done.

Keystone Threaded Products wholeheartedly supports STEM and its pursuit.  As suppliers of threaded bars, nuts and other custom made high quality components, it is dedicated in its commitment to engineering efforts and the benefits to be realized from an education in science.

Closing the STEM Gender Gap

Keystone TP STEMMen are currently dominating STEM-related fields, which is exactly why it’s become more important than ever for women to get involved in order to start bridging the career gap between the two genders. By doing so, it will create much-needed diversity in the workforce of engineers, mathematicians, computer programmers and scientists. Right now, only one in seven engineers is female, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Also, in the U.S., only 1/5 of physics PhDs are awarded to women, and only 14% of physics professors in the U.S. are women.

There are many ways for women to get involved in STEM fields, but getting them interested and encouraging them to pursue STEM careers is one of the main problems. There are many negative stereotypes and generalizations that people tend to relate to STEM fields that need to be broken. Namely, men are more qualified and naturally excel more at those types of jobs than women. However, women are just as capable as men to succeed in STEM related fields, and by educating women about the many opportunities out there, the STEM fields will be able to grow and become more diverse.

Moving away from the negative connotations that are, in fact, untrue, more women will want to take the step towards STEM related fields. It’s beneficial for girls to get involved at a younger age through STEM educational programs. By taking these proactive steps, the STEM gender gap can and will start to become smaller and smaller as more and more women rise in STEM fields.

Getting Young Americans Excited About Manufacturing

traditionIt’s becoming well known throughout the manufacturing industry that there’s a skilled labor shortage, and that it’s projected to get worse. From machinists to metal workers, there are jobs out there, but not enough qualified people to fill them.

Manufacturing Day, which recently took place on October 4, sought to open up manufacturers’ doors and showcase the true value in American manufacturing, and the potential careers in it provide. With over 800 participating manufacturers and thousands of students and educators having experienced it, it was considered a great success.

However, we can’t stop at Manufacturing Day—we have to keep the conversation going, and continue encouraging students and young people to consider careers in the industry. A recent survey “found that 52% of teenagers 13 to 17 years old had little or no interest in a manufacturing career and another 21% were ambivalent.”* Furthermore, a “second survey found that many American adults no longer work with their hands, either for pleasure in their hobbies or to make repairs around the home,” meaning kids don’t have parents and relatives who can encourage them to do so.

So what’s to be done? While this is, indeed, a challenge, all hope is not lost. We as a country need to get together and encourage our children to study STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—and realize the importance of this. We need to show them that manufacturing is exciting, as is creating something tangible that so many people rely on. We need to show them that those computers they love can be used to create technologically advanced products.

After all, manufacturing is not what it used to be, and it’s important to get that message out there. It’s not a dirty job, nor is it menial. Today’s manufacturing requires skills, brains, and training. It also can be pretty cool—after all, nowadays, highly-technical robots are involved.

Manufacturing Day was a great first step, but it’s important to keep that going and consistently show young Americans how and why manufacturing careers are a great choice.


*Source: https://www.asme.org/career-education/articles/early-career-engineers/students-opting-out-of-br-manufacturing-trades

Reshoring: Why it Makes Sense for Everyone

Recent news stories and surveys are consistently demonstrating a positive trend in manufacturing: reshoring. Following a period of offshoring—sending business overseas where labor was cheaper—during which time American manufacturing suffered as a result, the time has finally come for the industry to make a comeback. It’s a trend that’s indeed very welcome.

keystoneSmall and large businesses alike are realizing the value. From Apple to Boeing to countless small and medium manufacturers, companies are seeing that there are solid reasons why manufacturing at home simply makes sense. These include:

1)      More competitive American wages; overseas workers’ salaries are not as cheap as they once were.

2)      Abundant and more affordable natural resources in the U.S.

3)      American innovation, technology, and quality.

In a recent article written on IEEE’s Today’s Engineer, it was said that the overwhelming support of reshoring “[makes] it clear that investing and producing at home is a priority and is the choice that most benefits shareholders, companies and country alike.”

The article points out that two separate surveys by the Economist and Boston Consulting Group show that businesses and consumers prefer at-home manufacturing; the latter survey demonstrated that Americans are even willing to pay more for Made in the USA products.

This is good news for everyone, including engineers. According to the article, “It is in the self-interest of engineers to encourage domestic manufacturing, because if their companies offshore manufacturing, engineering is likely to follow.” Reshoring keeps engineers’ jobs at home, while adding jobs throughout the manufacturing sector, strengthening the country’s competitive edge, and completely shifting the approach of all business models.

The logic behind bringing jobs and business back to the U.S. is at once simple and multi-faceted. It makes complete sense—for so many reasons. As the trend continues, we can all look forward to the return of the world’s best and most advanced manufacturing industry.