This article was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of SWE Magazine.
New Faces of Engineering, a program of DiscoverE: Engineers Week, was introduced in 2003 to recognize and showcase the achievements and contributions of engineers 30 years old and younger. The program also serves as a forum to highlight the breadth of possibilities a career in engineering offers and demonstrates the countless ways in which engineers work to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
The top nominees from participating organizations are recognized by national and local media outlets and featured on the DiscoverE website. This year, the Society of Women Engineers selected five candidates from a pool provided by local sections.
As part of the nomination process, questions were posed to each of the Society’s candidates. Please see the digital edition of SWE Magazine, page 16A, for a sampling of those questions and answers.
Since 2009, Alya Elhawary has excelled technically and demonstrated leadership skills at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. She was selected for the prestigious Engineering Leadership Development Program, a highly selective rotational program for early-career employees, where she worked in the fields of nanocopper, graphene, and advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems, which are being used to not only provide radical advanced capabilities in electronics, but also in solving water desalination problems for developing nations.
Elhawary has received several company awards for her contributions and continues to gain exposure in advanced technical fields. In 2014, she became the Advanced Technology Center Internal Research and Development (IRAD) coordinator, evaluating funding opportunities for cutting-edge technologies. More recently, she was selected as Rising Technical Talent at Lockheed Martin and has taken on technical leadership roles such as program manager for proposals with both university and military partners. Currently she is responsible for the execution of cutting-edge battery programs that increase their safety and provide high-power capabilities.
In addition, Elhawary is leading efforts in evaluating advanced materials and manufacturing techniques to provide multimillion-dollar affordability savings for advanced system capabilities.
Tasha Kamegai-Karadi, P.E.
Tasha Kamegai-Karadi, P.E., is a project engineer for Geosyntec Consultants, a specialized consulting/engineering firm that addresses complex problems involving the environment and natural resources. Kamegai-Karadi designs and manages treatment plants to treat contaminated groundwater. She also manages field investigations and analyzes for vapor intrusion in commercial buildings, performs risk assessments,and designs building soil vapor mitigation systems to protect occupants.
Previously, Kamegai-Karadi worked at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as a nuclear engineer, where she conducted structural analyses, maintenance, and high purity water treatment design for nuclear submarines. At the University of California, Berkeley, she assisted with research to reduce mercury contamination in wetlands. At Stanford University, where she received a full fellowship, she assisted with research to analyze microorganisms that converted waste to polyhydroxybutyrate for use in environmentally friendly plastics.
Kamegai-Karadi presented the session Breaking Down Stigmas and Building Awareness: Mental Health at SWE’s WE15 conference as part of her initiative to honor her late mother and build awareness on this topic within engineering. She was a guest lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles for the civil engineering graduate program and is a recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Young Engineer of Merit Award and the Orange County Engineering Councils’ Outstanding Engineer Award.
Ellen McIsaac has made significant contributions to aviation in both the commercial and defense sectors through her work on six new gas turbine engine development programs and three new aircraft development programs since 2012. She was the first to apply a new type of composite material to applications in rotating aerospace components. Her work in structural analysis and modeling of this new material helped to understand and overcome challenges encountered in the manufacturing process. In recognition of this breakthrough, she was recognized by the Manufacturing Institute with a 2015 STEP Emerging Leader Award.
McIsaac has modeled the structural behavior of new materials technologies spanning a wide array of extreme environments ranging from temperatures below freezing to thousands of degrees, exposure to water and jet fuel, impacts from ice and debris, and erosion from sand. Other achievements have included work with ultra-high temperature ceramic composites, which are paving the way to a revolution in hypersonic transportation. McIsaac’s important contributions to aerospace have been recognized by quick career advancement, including being promoted twice to reach the level of senior engineer within the first three years of her career.
Megan Schulze is a project engineer in energy engineering services. Her strong technical and project management skills have been instrumental in identifying repairs and implementing energy-saving technologies for projects ranging from hospitals to Air Force bases.
Schulze appreciates the uniqueness of each client and goes above and beyond to meet their needs. For her health care clients, she took additional time to learn infection control best practices to be sure her modifications would provide safe and improved performance for the patients and staff at the hospital. At work, she implemented standardized HVAC energy savings analysis calculations and reporting tools to address weaknesses in project execution processes that reduced engineering analysis time and increased profit margins.
She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in project management. An active volunteer in the community, Schulze is the president of the Society of Women Engineers’ Rocky Mountain Section and serves on the board of governors for Colorado State University-Global Campus. Both positions provide her the opportunity to help current and future generations of engineering students and professionals excel.
In her four years in process engineering, Stephanie Yum has accomplished a great deal, starting at IBM Microelectronics in Vermont, which recently became GlobalFoundries. She quickly distinguished herself as a problem-solver to the direct benefit of the business. She qualified an energy-savings project that will save the company more than $400,000 per year in energy costs. The project was recognized with the IBM Energy Conservation Award and the IBM Execution Excellence Award.
Yum has demonstrated her skills as a problem-solving leader by driving projects to root cause using eight-step lean methodology. She resolved a top tier client yield problem by identifying a mechanical failure as the root cause and developed a preventive maintenance technique to avoid failures in the future. Within two years, she was promoted to a new engineering role where she now has a broader influence on the development of new technology as well as photolithography processing of production-grade material.