The People Behind SharkBite: Meet Our Chief Engineer of Fittings
Behind each of our products is a fantastic team full of passionate and dedicated individuals. Today, we’re highlighting one of the people that help SharkBite bring convenient and reliable technology to the plumbing industry.
Originally from New Jersey, RWC’s Chief Engineer of Fittings Samantha Kelly started working with us in 2011 at the Cullman, Alabama, manufacturing facility. She started out as a project engineer working on the Cash Acme Pressure Regulating Valve line and gradually moved over to the SharkBite side of the business as a project engineer. After working for several years on various fitting projects, Samantha transitioned into the role of chief engineer of fittings.
When she’s not serving our customers behind the scenes, you can find her spending time with friends and family, doing puzzles, playing games and walking and hiking.
1. What do you do in your role as chief engineer of fittings?
A little bit of everything! As chief engineer, I am the go-to person for all things SharkBite. I assist with internal and external questions, issues and requests that come up on the fitting side of the business. I review and approve all design documentation and provide support as needed for all fitting projects. I also still get to act as project engineer for many product development and sustaining engineering projects.
2. What are the biggest challenges you have had to overcome when engineering plumbing products?
Our products are relatively straightforward and are used by a very wide range of customers, from homeowners to plumbing professionals. This can make it challenging to create a single product that will satisfy everyone.
3. What does your work mean to you?
I love helping people and am thankful to be able to do that every day, whether it’s helping a coworker solve a problem or helping a customer by providing a high-quality product that fulfills their needs.
I also really enjoy being on the front end of new products and new technology. It is incredibly rewarding when you finally get to see something that you worked so hard on sitting on a store’s shelf and being used in the field.
4. How have you seen plumbing technology evolve over the course of your career?
The plumbing industry can be a bit slow to change, but there has certainly been some evolution during my time at RWC. I think bringing the Internet of Things to plumbing with the StreamLabs Control was a really exciting development that paves the way for other ideas and opportunities and keeps plumbing relevant in our connected world.
The EvoPEX fitting was also a great spinoff of the standard brass SharkBite fitting, since it is optimized specifically for PEX and ideally suited for new construction.
5. What excites you most about the industry’s future?
The industry is becoming more and more accepting of new technologies, such as push-to-connect and plastic, which opens the door for more opportunities across our range of products. Thankfully we have no shortage of new ideas, so we will keep putting out new products.
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Read more about RWC’s vision and values, which our people embody and support, by exploring our company page.