If anyone knows how refined manufacturing industries can be, it’s Shihui Ma ’06. The process engineer with Tiffany Co. has expertise in casting precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum that leads to improvements in some of the most instantly recognized products on the market.

What initially sparked your interest in manufacturing?

Almost everything around us was made in one way or another. I have been fascinated with how things were made since I was a little kid. I would say personal interest really initiated my journey to manufacturing.

What do people not know about manufacturing that you wish they did?

There are so many different ways to manufacture anything. One should always look for better and more efficient methods to make products, which is supercritical in any fast-paced industry.

What’s the most interesting/surprising thing you've learned about manufacturing while at WPI?

I learned fundamental skills—for example, how to use machines to make test samples. The kind of hands-on experience I gained at WPI helped me truly understand what manufacturing is. It opened a door for me to enter the manufacturing world.

How do you hope your contributions to manufacturing will impact the world?

I hope they will encourage kids from younger generations to be more interested and more involved in manufacturing.

The future of manufacturing is bright. More and more new machineries will be invented to improve the processes and more and more new processes will be discovered to manufacture products faster and more efficiently.