Leader Under 40: Kris Dornan
Kris Dornan, 34
Process End-User Marketing Manager, Rockwell Automation Inc., www.ab.com
Mayfield Heights, Ohio
BS Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
He has spent considerable time creating, acquiring, and editing marketing, sales, and engineering material about automation systems for heavy industries. A wastewater plant demonstration showed end users how the PlantPAx system provides automatic lead / lag pump coordination, and how an operator would be notified of an alarm condition effectively and efficiently.
“Having a work-life balance is critical to a successful career. I have spent almost every hour away from work helping my wife raise our 2 1/2-year-old daughter. As a first time dad, I realize that I am now responsible for her well-being, and every decision I make has a direct influence on her. I try to be her role model and teach her through my words and actions to be a good person. Knowing she is learning from me makes me work hard every day to be the person that I want her to be.”
To diversify from process controls, he led a team effort to define the value that Rockwell Automation delivers to the automotive industry, expanding communication and time-management skills, presenting results to a European audience, and synthesizing various materials into a concise document.
Dornan has a twin brother who is a medical doctor, providing a lifelong best friend and “friendly competition growing up—something I believe is a critical motivating factor in pushing someone to his or her best. My brother and I were always in a battle to bring home the best report cards, achieve the most scout merit badges, and make the most dean’s lists.” Piano playing “affords me the opportunity to use a talent I have to make other people happy” and provides respite from daily activities.
While studying at Case Western Reserve, he worked a co-op position as an applications engineer on control systems at The Foxboro Company, “a unique opportunity to build a system from scratch that could be used to automate processes in the specialty chemical industry. The experience allowed me to use my talents in computer programming, grew my understanding of units of operation in chemical engineering, and helped develop my social skills, all of which have afforded me confidence in talking to customers.”