“The struggles that women may face throughout their careers should not be theirs alone to try to solve,” she said. “Everyone has a role in creating a more diverse and inclusive aerospace and defense industry.”
Fielding is a 2020-21 SME Member Council representative. She launched and managed America Makes, an institute that uses partnerships among U.S. industry, universities and federal government agencies to develop new manufacturing technologies.
“America Makes has made great advancements in deploying additive manufacturing (‘3-D printing’) for our Airmen and for growing the additive manufacturing industry,” she said.
Fielding finds the autonomy, mastery and purpose that are described in the book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” in her current position with the Air Force Research Laboratory.
“Mastery and autonomy are why I chose AFRL, but it is important to mention why I have stayed at AFRL – purpose,” she said. “It has been my greatest honor to be a part of a team that is delivering outstanding technical capabilities to our airmen and strengthening our nation’s industrial base.”
Fielding also has experience as a crisis counselor, which helps her to engage others and to have difficult talks aimed at finding common ground and resolving conflict.
“These are key skills to have for anyone in a leadership role,” she said.
Fielding has been with the Air Force Research Laboratory for 17 years, doing hands-on research and program management in fields such as polymer matrix composites processing, nanomaterials, and multifunctional materials. She holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Bacheler of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida. Fielding was the deputy program manager for the Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology Program, previously managed through AFRL, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division. This program works to develop manufacturing technologies that apply to all branches of service for the benefit of American warfighters.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit