Beth Langer, Engineering Manager, Thermal Management Business Unit, CPC
MS Mechanical Engineering, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
Beth Langer, leads liquid cooling design solutions at CPC, a manufacturer of quick disconnect couplings for use in a variety of industries ranging from HPC and data centers to EV charging/EV batteries and laser technology, among others. In addition to creating solutions for CPC customers, Beth is an active committee member for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Open Compute Project (OCP). She holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
Talk about the culture of your company. What makes it inclusive or supportive of women in engineering and automation?
Having a clear mission and set of core values sets a foundation for CPC’s culture. With a strong emphasis on collaboration, dedication and respect, support and inclusivity come very naturally. These behaviors are modeled from the top down, and I’m personally inspired and empowered by seeing women at CPC in so many leadership roles.
Describe a recent company project (in which you were involved) that went particularly well. How did you and your team go about ensuring success?
We’re still in the midst of it, but we recently passed a major decision point in the development of a unique solution for a key customer. With the pandemic, having most of the team working remotely was a little bit of a challenge to start. In the end, though, our team has rallied closely together, speeding up both communication and design development. Part of our team is overseas, but we’re now more proficient than ever in working remotely. It’s easy and effective to just hop on calls, share screens and keep the conversation going. This method of communicating, and our strong and seamless collaboration, are ingredients for success now and into the future.
What first drew you to engineering and this industry?
When first considering a college degree, I honestly had no idea what engineering was. I always liked math and science, spreadsheets, tinkering, etc., but after I realized engineering meant leveraging those skills and curiosities to solve complex problems in creative ways, I fell in love. My friends know I’m happy to talk about engineering to anyone who will listen, but I especially like sharing my experience and perspective with women through our intern program, as well as when CPC sponsors volunteer STEM events for girls.
Describe your biggest career challenge. How did you solve it — or what was the outcome or lesson learned?
I’m sure there will be many more to come, but most recently, I struggled with deciding where to go next in my career. I truly enjoy digging into the details on projects and product development, but wondered if longer term I could add even more value in a management role. I had worked so hard to perfect my engineering skills, so I was a little apprehensive about not applying them in the same way on an everyday basis. I also wondered about learning the new skills needed to manage. Having recently been granted an opportunity to lead our thermal design engineers, I am very excited about what the future holds. I work with an excellent team and I know they’ll help me continue to grow.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Well, I’d give myself credit for knowing that fleece vests can be an important part of a work wardrobe. I was an early adopter. Don’t be so anxious about failing or getting the wrong answers, whether on a test or in a work environment. Be smart and thoughtful on how you approach your work but embrace the fact that failure is inevitable at times over the course of one’s life and career. Just reflect on it, learn from it, and grow from it.