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The Future of STEM

Gloria Romano-Barrera.

With a bright future in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) world, Latinas are leveraging their differences to succeed. Whether it’s implementing environmental plans, specializing in diesel engine integration, or managing new products, the Latinas profiled here are visionaries and inspiring the future in technology.

Carina López
Environmental Engineer – Due Diligence
Integrated Gas – Commercial/NBD
Shell Exploration and Production Company

Born and raised in the island of Puerto Rico by Dominican parents, Carina López developed a passion for environmental protection at a young age. “When I was debating between careers, I remember a teacher once said: ‘As an engineer, you will have more influence to protect the environment and people will listen to you’. My dad is also an engineer so I decided to enroll in the only college that offered a
degree in environmental engineering at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. The rest is history.”

Today, López is the environment engineer for Shell Exploration and Production Company. She identifies and manages Health, Safety, Security and Environmental risks within commercial mergers, acquisitions and divestments. She identifies and manages Health, Safety, Security and Environmental risks within commercial mergers, acquisitions and divestments.

“I add value to Shell by conducting environmental due diligence as part of the commercial negotiation process,” she shares. “I also make sure it is sustainable for the long term by making sure accountability is clear and protection to human health and environment is covered in commercial transactions.”

Her career at Shell started when she was a technical poster finalist at the SHPE Conference in 2010, where she landed an internship with the Wind Energy business, then for the Appalachia basin. Upon completion of the Assessed
Internship process, she was offered a full-time position with Shell where she was responsible for environmental and regulatory compliance for operations in the Permian Basin.

“My greatest accomplishment working in this industry has been hands-on contribution to environment protection through an international assignment in South America last year,” she shares. “I was able to directly work in exploration drilling by developing and implementing environmental management plans in clear support of our Shell Policy and Commitment with the environment and our communities.”

Since starting her Shell career, she has been entrusted with increasing responsibilities on the environmental and regulatory team, including the training and development of new staff, prior to transitioning to a broadening commercial role with the New Business Development for the Americas. She supported a series of acquisitions and divestitures through due diligence for sensitive commercial opportunities within North and South America. In her most recent role, she set up environmental management plans in support of exploration drilling in Sub-Andean well development in Bolivia.

“The best part of working at Shell is the people,” she shares. “I have worked with the most amazing people from all over the world. In fact, I met one of my good friends from Puerto Rico during our first internship back in 2011. It makes me proud to be part of a company that takes the development of its people and energy transition challenges seriously.”

López is also driven to increase the participation of Latinas in leadership by giving back to the Houston Latino community through the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Shell Diversity & Inclusion events since she graduated in 2013. She is also part of the Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Class of 2017, where she supports the strategic
advocacy efforts in support of the Hispanic community in Houston.

Carina in her most recent field assignment in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, October 2018.

She has launched a Lean-In Circle at Shell, is an active participant within the Shell Hispanic Employee Resource Group’s targeting STEM workforce development and serves in organizations such as SHPE Houston Chapter, contributed to the start of SHPEtina (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Latina-focused program) at Texas A&M University and supports the University of Houston’s Student Chapter efforts. She also serves on the board for Power on Heels Fund, Inc.

“To my amazing Latina STEM students: please reach out for help in reviewing your essays, applying for scholarships, and make a commitment to finishing your degree,” she shares. “There are Latinas that have done it before – a great starting point is to get involved in is the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. It is also key that you get involved in either research or corporate experience early on. Get it done, we are waiting for you on the industry side.”

Jackeline Carpio
Sr. Mechanical Engineer
Combat Vehicles
Platforms & Services
BAE Systems, Inc.

Born in San Salvador, El Salvador and raised in San Francisco, CA., Jackeline Carpio and her family immigrated to the United States in the 1980s and settled in San Francisco, Calif. It was during her senior year in high school that she took an architecture class and something about the blend of math and design creativity resonated with her. For Carpio, it was a beautiful merging of two complimentary worlds.

“I was still very indecisive on what to do with my studies when I started at my local community college, but after speaking with my family, friends, and a guidance counselor, I decided to focus on engineering where I could use innovation, math, and science,” Carpio shares.

Joining BAE Systems, Inc. shortly after graduating from San José State University where she obtained a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering in 2007, Carpio is a Senior Mechanical Engineer and is the engine lead for BAE Systems’ Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF).As the engine lead, she works with internal and external personnel.

Internally she ensures the engine integrates well with the transmission, auxiliary systems, vehicle electronics, and other interfacing systems. The engine needs to perform to meet vehicle-level requirements – starting in cold environments, providing sufficient power, and other essential functions. In her role, she works with management to meet program milestones and with subcontracts to keep everything running smoothly. Externally, she ensures the supplier meets the requirements of engine performance, component testing, design maturity, and deliveries, as well as keeping tracking of their schedule and cost.

Additionally, she leads a small team of engineers that work on subsets of the vehicle powerpack integration (mounting, intake/exhaust, cooling).

With over 11 years of professional experience in the defense industry, she has worked on several subsystems eventually becoming the engine lead. She was an associate engineer working in the concept design phase of what would become the M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) and M992A3 Carrier Ammunition Tracked (CAT) vehicles. Carpio was on the program through the various milestones all the way through low-rate initial production (LRIP). From there she has supported several combat vehicle mobility teams as an engine/powerpack integrator.

As an engineer, getting the vehicles to production is a huge accomplishment, but for Carpio working with other platforms to achieve the goal of common components has been her greatest accomplishment. “It took many hours of design constraints, requirements, working with suppliers, and getting approvals from different programs to achieve this goal,” she shares. “It reduced the logistic footprint for the U.S. Army, helped the future service members, and the availability of these components.”

Carpio is the 2019 President of the BAE Systems Employee Resource Group (ERG), the Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement (HOLA). Through the ERG, the company partners with organizations helping Latino communities. “I plan to continue our mission of seeking out organizations that help our communities and to continue to empower and develop our employees,” she states. “Our latest outreach investment institution was INROADS. The organization helps “businesses gain greater access to diverse talent through continuous leadership development of outstanding ethnically diverse students and placement of those students in internships at many of North America’s top corporations, firms and organizations.”

From mentoring and tutoring younger generations, to being a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), she hopes to guide and inspire others to reach for their dreams and empower their extended communities throughout their journey. “Your success has a rippling effect on your extended communities. Even though you may not notice others watching, they are,” she shares. “Your
neighbors, cousins, fellow students, or colleagues – if they see you succeed, they consciously or subconsciously see a path to success also. This is the reason that representation is so important.”

“Your success has a rippling effect on your extended communities. Even though you may not notice others watching, they are,” she shares. “Your neighbors, cousins, fellow students, or colleagues – if they see you succeed, they consciously or subconsciously see a path to success also. This is the reason that representation is so important.”

Brissa Solis Aguilar
Senior Hardware Program Manager
Roku

It was during her last year of high school when a school representative from one of the top schools in the area was promoting an Industrial Engineering Symposium that she was drawn to engineering.

“During the symposium I became intrigued with Industrial Engineering, for me the idea of being able to see and dissect a process came so naturally, after that Symposium, I made the decision to become an Industrial Engineer.”

Born and raised in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Solis is a Senior Hardware Manager for Roku, a TV streaming platform in the U.S. Solis’ role is a hybrid role as a New Product Introduction (NPI) Hardware Program Manager for new product development and sustaining
projects. The first part of her role consists of leading and managing projects that ensure product continuation and support once they have been launched. The second part is managing a program from ideation to mass production.

“I get to work with multiple teams, driving schedule, quality and cost decisions when launching a new program to the market,” she shares. “This is the area I enjoy the most, being able to solve complex problems in order to launch a product.”

For Solis, being a highly cross-functional role, she works to improve multiple areas of the business by removing roadblocks from the beginning of a product development cycle to the mass production sustainability.

One of her greatest accomplishments in this role is the development of a new Sustaining Process in which the company can review and identify projects to work on based on cost, time and resources.

She developed a process that identifies, measures, tracks and reports clearly all the sustaining projects in place and brings them up via dashboards that are both trackable and actionable.

“I was able to establish a repeatable process for not only identifying but also tracking all the testing necessary and being able to provide close estimates for planning and cost reduction purposes,” she states. “This process helped saved $400k by streamlining the qualification process and documentation systems we had in place.”

A graduate with honors with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Solis was part of Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Chapter. In 2005 she graduated from college, got married and moved to Washington State with her family to pursue a dream for better opportunities. Here, she was hired as an Industrial Engineer at an Aerospace company in Seattle. She was their first H1-B status employee and first Latina engineer.

In 2011 she graduated with an Executive MBA from the University of Washington. She believes this gave her the confidence to pivot to Microsoft and into the technology and consumer electronics space.

“Ever since, I’ve had the opportunity to work in great products such as Xbox One, Surface, Hololens and Roku,” she states. “I enjoy learning and processes and creating new ways of working that are efficient and effective.”

2018 YHCA Award Ceremony Celebration.

A mother of two children, a six-year-old and a four-year-old, Solis encourages everyone to invest by continuing education, by working out and being kind to our bodies.

“Being from a different culture, growing up speaking a different language and having different business approaches will continue to be part of the Latino experience in Corporate America,” she shares. “But it is our strength and ability to adapt that support us all through our professional journeys.”

 

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