Christopher Elko


I am gay and I am an industrial machinery engineer.//


From the tender age of 4, I showed signs of “The Knack” – a technical interest in disassembling things to figure out how they work. As I cultivated an interest in the theory and mathematics behind fluid mechanics, machine design, and computational thermodynamics in my coursework at Drexel University, my path toward a career in industrial engineering became clear. My passion for all things mechanical has evolved from wrenching around on cars each weekend (which I still do!) to optimizing the design and operation of large industrial rotating equipment. I am fortunate that my work has allowed me to travel around the globe, and I am so grateful for the frequent opportunities to admire the beauty and diversity of this impressive equipment.

I was raised in a conservative family, and I didn’t do myself any favors by diving into a traditionally conservative field where the LGBTQ+ community is severely underrepresented. It took time to build up the confidence to be out at work, but I consistently strive to foster an inclusive and educational environment within my professional community through involvement with employee resource groups. I sincerely wish that *every person* can bring their whole self to work. Organizations like 500QS give me hope for improved visibility and promotion of role models for younger members of the community – keep it up!