STEM Professional of the week

Leticia J. Pacheco, Ph.D.      

Dr. Leticia Pacheco is a Human Factors Engineer for the U.S. Army RDECOM, Army Research Laboratory Development and Engineering Command in EL Paso, Texas. In her field, she combines applied knowledge of cognitive engineering with human factors engineering to identify the problem root cause of human-system interaction.

Dr. Pacheco’s dedication and quick study has provided design recommendations and assessments of military systems to decision makers and ultimately Congress with the purpose of informing their decisions on policy and equipping the force.

Dr. Pacheco teams with commercial developers, other Army entities and the Department of Defense to support the Soldier. She identifies shortcomings in defense systems which impact the human machine decision process. By bringing these issues to light and pursuing effective mitigation strategies, Dr. Pacheco has prevented accidental and unintended engagements which could result in loss of life.

Dr. Pacheco was the first person in her family to leave her home town of El Paso Texas for a university education. She received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial engineering from St. Mary's University in San Antonio Texas and a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics from Texas Tech University. After working in industry for several years, she pursued her Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research from Texas Tech where she conducted research in terrorism and deterrence within aviation security.

Dr. Pacheco serves as a role model to elementary, middle and high school students by promoting the benefits of an education in STEM whenever possible. Involved in the promotion of higher education since she was herself a student, she encourages students by sharing her own experiences on how she was able to fund her education and her journey to her present career.

In 2008, Dr. Pacheco had the opportunity to return to the undergraduate classroom where she was once taught, but this time as an Adjunct Professor of the St. Mary's University Industrial Engineering Department. Currently, Dr. Pacheco is part of the Mathematics Department at Texas A&M in San Antonio where she teaches linear algebra, biostatistics and statistical methods.

In her free time, Dr. Pacheco loves to travel and enjoys exploring new places. Dr. Pacheco was honored with a HENAAC Military & Civilian Hero Award in 2012.

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