Constanza Lengerich, ESTEEM '17
As Market Development Manager at Manufacturing Technology Inc. (MTI) in South Bend, Constanza Lengerich (ESTEEM ’17) plays a key role in the commercialization of a new friction welding solution, helping develop the technology, finding the product market fit and establishing relationships with potential customers. Margot Hughan and Victoria Zellerhoff, fellow ESTEEM '17 alumnae, initiated the commercialization assessment of this new technology as their capstone thesis project, and Constanza has taken it from there.
Lengerich earned a BS in industrial engineering at Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile in 2012 and has worked in marketing research companies located in New Zealand and Chile. Constanza co-founded a water filtration company that could help customers from waterworks and schools to homeowners and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to solve the arsenic contamination problem more efficiently, and helped build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in southern Chile. After searching the globe for a top master’s program in technology and entrepreneurship, she enrolled in ESTEEM in 2016 thanks to a generous scholarship awarded by the University of Notre Dame.
She chose an out-of-field capstone project, working with a Notre Dame scientist to develop a diagnostic test for allergies that she took to the finals of the McCloskey Business Plan Competition. Upon graduation, she worked for a year as the New Ventures & Investments Program Manager at the IDEA Center of the University of Notre Dame evaluating the market potential of all the new technologies developed by the scientists at the university.
ESTEEM’s courses, such as product development, operations, business model canvas, sales and launch strategy helped establish structure for the on-the-job knowledge she has gained in her previous experiences. Lengerich says, “In my previous experiences I have learned by trying and failing, which takes some time. ESTEEM has given me the right tools and methods to work efficiently in multiple areas. Also, the program allows you to put those methods into practice in class and with the capstone project”.
The combination of her engineering education and the ESTEEM program is vital for her new job because she interfaces with so many fields. “I work with the MTI engineering team developing the new technology, which allows me to learn about its capabilities. At the same time, I work with the sales team establishing relationships with potential customers. Working with these two departments has allowed me to connect with potential customers and understand their needs, as well as evaluate if we can satisfy those needs with the new solution.” Lengerich is working with potential customers in the aerospace, automotive and railroad industries, among others.
Since joining MTI, Constanza has continued her education through a course at the Edison Welding Institute (EWI). The course taught her about metallurgy, current welding technologies and weld testing. The main goal was to learn about the capabilities of the technologies that potential customers are implementing today, such as gas metal arc welding and flash butt welding, and compare them to the new MTI friction welding technology to define its competitive advantage.
“I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to work at MTI because it will allow me to become an expert in multiple industries but also in metallurgy and welding, which adds so much value to my career as a business and engineering professional. At the same time I have continued to do what I love, which is contributing to the commercialization of new technologies” she says. “I’m very happy and I really love this company.”