Darren Goetz

image of Darren Goetz

3M Company – Advanced Materials Division

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt


3M Company – Advanced Materials Division
Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
University of Michigan, BSE Chemical Engineering
University of Michigan, BA American Cultures
University of Michigan, MSE Manufacturing Engineering
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Certified 2010, Master Black Belt 2019

Career Summary

I’m currently a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (MBB) within 3M’s Advanced Materials Division (AdMD), where we manufacture a wide array of products, in both chemical and article form, that perform within incredibly challenging environments. Previously, I was a Global Manufacturing Operations Manager in the Automotive/Aerospace industry and later in touch screen technologies in Singapore. I’ve had many factory product management experiences, including a factory that produced reflective traffic signs and precision films. I have worked as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in high-precision optical films and privacy filters in California and China, although my initial roles after graduation were in environmental and process engineering. Overall, I’ve been able to gain a myriad of global experiences, focusing on a very broad set of products and technologies.


3M Golden Step Award- Patterned Advance ITO Film (Touch Screens)
3M Golden Step Award – Acrylic Plus Foam Tape Products
3M Chairman’s EHS Award
3M Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) – 14 total awards from 2001-2014

What Excites You About Your Career?

The most exciting aspect of my career has been, overwhelmingly, the ability to learn and transform my career at a pace to my liking, which has been enabled by the diversity of my company, 3M. In eighteen years, I’ve moved between nearly twelve distinct roles, all of which fall into a broad spectrum of products and technologies. I’ve had the luxury of working with products ranging from sandpaper to high-end electronics and am currently working in specialty chemicals and composite materials. Soon, I’ll be moving into yet another role, this time in business and marketing, a completely foreign area for me, but the multitude of experiences I’ve gained allows me to enter such a role with high confidence.

Time Spent At U-M

When I attended UM, the Chemical Engineering department was small (<100 students total), and because I straddled two different graduating classes, i made a lot of close friends in my academic area, and knew professors and GSIs quite well, some of which are still close friends. Significant dislike was that it didn’t last long enough, despite spending seven years completing various degrees!

Favorite Student Orgs
Mortar Board Honor Society, as it allowed me to interact with other students in organizations that I was not familiar with, and that allowed us to have a broader activity impact.

Favorite Classes
Chemical Reactions (CHE 344) and the project-based classes (CHE 486/7). I’ve used learning from those classes many times over the course of my career. I also received a degree in liberal arts, which admittedly offered a nice break from numbers and technical problem solving, and many classes in those areas were memorable, and provided me with advanced communication skills.

Advice to Students
Spend as much time exploring areas of technical interest, even if you know very little, prior to graduation. When I was attending UM, we didn’t have the breadth of focus areas, or minors for that matter, so you are very fortunate. Also, do not under-emphasize or underappreciate the importance of “softer” skills you learn while in Ann Arbor, such as written and verbal communications. The technical knowledge will only get you so far in your area of expertise, the softer skills will help you go that extra mile, especially in the corporate world.

What Do You Like To Do Outside Of Work?

Avid music listener, collector (vinyl), and live show attendee. Significant amount of time traveling globally, outside of work, focusing on visiting as many countries as possible over my lifetime. Summer months involve a lot of hiking, both locally and in the National Parks system. In the winter months, snowboarding and nordic skiing reign as activities.