Celebrating Our Step Ahead Award Winners

May 5, 2022

The Manufacturing Institute recently honored two of Porex’s own on Thursday, April 28. At the Awards Event a few days ago, Malithi Wickramathilaka, R&D Engineer, and Sarah Spencer, Senior Manager of Financial Operations, received the 2022 STEP Ahead Awards.

The STEP Ahead Awards celebrate women in science, technology, engineering, and production careers. This year is especially important as it marks a decade of honoring top female talent in the manufacturing industry. From running a company to designing the next big innovation, the STEP Ahead Awards showcase women who exemplify the many opportunities available in the manufacturing industry.  To date, the national awards have honored more than 1,000 women in science, technology, engineering, and production.

At Porex, Malithi Wickramathilaka has led the development of more than 80 diagnostic device projects, of which 15 projects have proceeded into full production in the last three years. These projects include devices to detect ketones in exhaled breath; fertility hormones in saliva, drugs of abuse in saliva; pregnancy hormones in urine; and the presence of Influenza and COVID-19 viruses. Outside of Porex, Malithi leads a professional development co-op program focused on helping students acquire vital job skills as well as the fine technical details of custom product development.

Malithi Wickramathilaka, R&D Engineer, at Porex

As Senior Manager of Financial Operations, Sarah Spencer is directly involved in the deployment of capital for all eight Porex manufacturing facilities. Critical to the company’s fight against COVID-19 were the evaluation and deployment of approximately $9 million of capital for two facilities in North America that were manufacturing products helping to fight the pandemic. Described by her colleagues as “the first person to invite a new employee to dinner,” Sarah makes it her daily mission to engage and support her team and community.

Sarah Spencer, Senior Manager of Financial Operations at Porex

Porex recognizes the positive impact women like Malithi and Sarah have on their communities and within this unique industry. We are thrilled that their advocacy, mentorship, achievements and leadership are honored by The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards.