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SPEEA members take engineering
to the ‘extreme’ at conference
If Revotec was a real company making bomb-disposal robots, the founders could probably expect success.
Instead, the 10 college students who ‘built’
Revotec won the Society of Hispanic Professional
Engineers (SHPE) ‘Extreme Engineering’ challenge at the national conference Nov. 3.
SPEEA member Carlos Blanco co-led the
Boeing-sponsored team for the challenge and was
impressed by the students’ resolve and results.
Blanco, a project engineer at the Developmental
Center, noted how the team won by making sure
all of the robot’s functions met the requirements.
“The team’s robot had effective design without
wasting parts,” he noted. He also pointed out
their competition - other teams of 10 college
students sponsored by corporations such as
General Motors and Raytheon, the U.S. military
branches of service, and NASA.
After being selected from hundreds of applicants,
the students had just 24 hours to create a company, a website and presentation in addition to
building a robot that could push and grab objects
to meet the competition requirements.
For SPEEA member, Katherine Meza, Ph.D.,
a system manager for Boeing’s Integrated
Visualization Technology (IVT), and co-leader of
the competition team, keeping the students motivated proved challenging especially after several
hours of intense work. “All we can do is provide
guidance and help them through it,” she said.
Luis Leon, a SPEEA Area Rep and Associate
Technical Fellow (ATF) for Boeing Research &
Technology, participated in this year’s SHPE competition as a judge. “The students give it their
all - it’s an honor to be there in the middle of it.”
SPEEA members involved in the
Extreme Engineering competition:
• Carlos Blanco - co-leader of Boeing-sponsored Revotec and team consultant
• Katherine Meza, Ph.D. - co-leader of
Revotec and team consultant
• Eric Aviles-Garcia - Revotec team
• Luis Leon - Extreme Engineering judge
Blanco serves as SHPE regional site focal for
Boeing and is vice president of the SHPE Puget
Sound professional chapter. He is also a coach
for a SPEEA NW Council-sponsored robotics
team. Leon is the Tech Fellow liaison to Boeing’s
SHPE enterprise team.
Meza serves as SHPE regional site focal for
Boeing and helped pre-screen students for interviews during the career fair as well as helped
(along with Blanco) on a pre-college engineering
booth at the conference.
In addition, she recently represented SHPE
on the Boeing Engineering Accelerated Hiring
Initiative (EAHI). She is taking on the role of
community outreach liaison for SHPE Puget
Sound professional chapter to initiate collaboration efforts with other Boeing External Technical
Affiliations (ETA) promoting STEM outreach
to K- 12 students as well as professional development for engineering college students and
Boeing ETA members.
“I was hired through a SHPE event,” said Meza,
who has an industrial engineering degree and
a Ph.D. in human factors and ergonomics. “I
remember the struggle when I was in college. After
I got a job, I wanted to give back to the community
- to help others who may be in the same shoes.”
After printing the November Spotlite, SPEEA updated an article online in the special open enrollment package. In the reference to Flexible Spending
Accounts (FSA) on page 6, the update noted
up to $500 of your 2018 election can roll
over to 2019 (but not beyond that). This
provides a small safety net for those who set
aside more than they spend in 2018.
The Boeing-sponsored ‘Extreme Engineering’ winning team built a robot and marketing materials within a 24-hour period
at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) conference. The SPEEA members are in the front row, from left:
Luis Leon, Associate Technical Fellow (a judge for the competition), Katherine Meza, Ph.D. (co-lead), Carlos Blanco
(co-lead), and Eric Aviles-Garcia (team consultant).