Entrepreneur Award

Melanie Lang

FormAlloy Technologies, Inc.

For outstanding expertise in aerospace engineering; for transforming supply chain challenges and sustainability concerns into a successful cutting-edge company; and for fostering local manufacturing.

Melanie Lang is the co-founder, CEO, majority shareholder, and board chair of FormAlloy Technologies, Inc. Her motto is “From Impossible to AMpossible,” describing FormAlloy’s mission of making things happen that were not possible before. FormAlloy designs and manufactures large-scale 3D metal printers that can build, repair, and enhance metal components. The company’s customers include NASA, National Laboratories, universities, the Department of Defense, and transportation, energy, and consumer goods industries. Since establishing the company in 2016, Lang has developed and patented an award-winning metal 3D printing technology that is changing how high-value components are manufactured and maintained.

Fascinated with space at an early age, Lang enjoyed math, science, and the arts. She decided to pursue aerospace engineering because it encompassed her creative and scientific interests. She earned a B.S. in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and an M.S. in systems architecture and engineering at the University of Southern California Los Angeles. As a student, Lang focused on space applications and designs for space tourism vehicles.

She began her career as an intern at The Boeing Company, then spent 14 years as an engineer and program manager at Lockheed Martin. In 2020, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers named her one of its 20 Exceptional Women in Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing.

Lang settled in San Diego and helped build a simple, polymer-based 3D printer at home. Inspired by the possibilities of the process, she began attending “maker fairs.” While grappling with the realities of supply chains and sustainability in her professional life, Lang wondered if engineers could design and build the superior metal parts and systems they needed. This idea led to the founding of FormAlloy, which she launched with Jeff Riemann seven years ago.

FormAlloy has won numerous honors and awards, including the Most Innovative Product for Defense and Cybersecurity; Project Entrepreneur; Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Technical Competition; and the RAPID + TCT Innovation Audition. The company was named one of the top five startups in additive manufacturing in 2020 by global platform data company StartUs Insights. Lang has been recognized as a Women in 3D Printing Innovation Award finalist, and one of San Diego’s 40 under 40.

Lang serves on the board of directors for the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the board of directors for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), and the executive committee of America Makes. She is vice president of legislative affairs for Navy League San Diego, and serves as the Women in 3D Printing ambassador for San Diego. She became involved with the local chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics to lobby for STEM, and she enjoyed Engineering Week projects, where she first encountered 3D printing.

Lang lives in San Diego with her husband, her three daughters, and a dog named Cowboy. She enjoys staying involved in the community, playing music, running, and doing yoga.