Abby Chitwood is the Director of Expansion Engineering in charge of new product introduction at Panasonic Energy of North America. In her role at the Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, she leads a cross-functional team of engineers through new process development, the introduction of new technologies, and the design of optimised factory layouts, while also maintaining the Hazardous Material Inventory Sheet she created to assess risk and develop building code policy. Chitwood oversees the design and layout of new factories to optimise utilisation, ensures efficient and ergonomic workflows are in place and appropriate mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems exist, and leads regulatory compliance efforts that improve cost per gigawatt-hour. She is also a key player in Panasonic’s global collaboration with the Japanese engineering teams and has extensive experience in presenting business growth at the Gigafactory. In her previous role at Panasonic, Chitwood led a team of 40 engineers in battery manufacturing across areas including electrode, winding, assembly, and formation of cells – including utilization of design review based on failure mode to assess equipment. She also served in various capacities at the company as a battery engineer. Chitwood is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Oregon State University where she earned an Honors Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Minor in Biology, Pre-Medicine. She is the recipient of the 2022 STEM Star Professional Award, 2021 Global Panasonic President’s Award, and 2019 US Panasonic President’s Award.