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STEM Inspiration: Meet Cyndi, Mechanical Engineer

As a child, her goal was to build tall buildings out of LEGO® bricks that could withstand destruction. Through problem-solving and practice, she learned laying the bricks in a staggered pattern would give her building the stability and strength it needed to resist damage.

Being a methodical problem solver was always something that came naturally to Cyndi Ketzenberger. Along with being detailed and well-organized, she had a love of math and was interested in science and analytics. These skills saw her through to where she is in her career today: Continuous Improvement Lead at Eagle Mine located in Marquette County, Michigan

“From an early age, I always knew I wanted to be an engineer – it just clicked with me,” said Cyndi. “The person that influenced me the most to pursue Engineering was my dad; he was a mechanical engineering professor. I grew up in a small town that had a university with a great engineering school.”

When Cyndi first attended college at Michigan Technological University, she wasn’t sure what type of engineer she wanted to be. She started out as a civil and environmental design engineer for wastewater treatment plants, where her interest in process improvement sparked.

After four years of civil and environmental project engineering expanding to the wood products industry, she returned to college to earn a Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University.

After graduation, she worked for an automotive manufacturer as a quality engineer, a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and process improvement engineer.

“I have a passion for continuous and process improvement, with a strong systems background and was excited to be able to bring that experience to a new mining operation and build a Continuous Improvement program from scratch,” said Cyndi.

In her role at Eagle Mine for the past three years, Cyndi is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining a Continuous Improvement program. Through the CI program, Eagle Mine employees and contractors are provided training and tools to foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

“We have a positive culture of improving all aspects of our business from the health and safety of our employees, the environment, surrounding communities, the mining and milling processes, as well as our business processes,” said Cyndi. “We are always striving to be better tomorrow than we are today.”

Cyndi is motivated by genuinely enjoying the work she does at Eagle Mine. She is consistently impressed and excited to see the motivation of Eagle’s employees to make its processes safer, better, simpler, and less expensive through their ingenuity.

“I am passionate about sharing Continuous Improvement tools to all levels of the organization. My primary goal is to build a culture of continuous improvement where all employees feel empowered to influence improvement in their job,” said Cyndi.

Cyndi’s advice for anyone interested in the field of engineering is getting a solid foundation in college prep classes in high school to prepare yourself for college.

“Engineering school can be tough,” said Cyndi. “But stick it out through college because it is worth it in the end.”

Cyndi added that there are a wide variety of engineering disciplines to study and focus on, so if the first discipline you consider does not hold your interest, shift your studies to another.

“Engineering is not always easy, but there is likely a specific discipline within Engineering that will spark an interest with you,” said Cyndi. “If it does, the career will reward you with exciting challenges and opportunities that can change and evolve as you grow and develop your career. The fun part of engineering often comes when you find a solution to a challenging opportunity. You could see yourself surprised and impressed by your ingenuity in problem-solving.”

Like Cyndi, we want each child to have the opportunity to learn to be creative and innovative in their problem-solving skills. We hope to encourage this by giving away more than 100 mining-themed LEGO® sets!

Here’s how you can enter:

"LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site."

Click here to enter our online giveaway to win one of 13 LEGO sets. U.S. Residents only. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

Enter our community-wide giveaway. Look for our metal standing banner in the following locations:


  • Peter White Public Library (children’s area)

  • Eagle Mine Information Center


  • Ishpeming Public Carnegie Library (children’s area)


  • Negaunee Public Library (children’s area)


  • Forsyth Township Public Library (enter building, turn left)


  • Michigamme Township Hall (large meeting room)


  • Republic-Michigamme School Public Library (children's area)


  • Jerzi's 41 Bar & Grill (on the right after entering restaurant)

Big Bay

  • Cram's General Store (against wall across from cash register)


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