STEM Professional of the week

Sheyla Matos      

Sheyla began her professional career with the United States Army where she dedicated 8 years of excellent service to her country. Her last post was with the 101st Airborne Division as a Video Teleconference Facilitator, Supervisor and Manager responsible for systematically scheduling secure interface conference communication for the Base Commanding General and responsible for over $4M in communication equipment. During her time with the 101st Airborne Division, Sheyla voluntarily served as a Base Ombudsman for spouses and families of deployed personnel, including 24 hour on call translation services for the Hispanic Community.

After leaving the Army, Sheyla worked to complete her bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University where she participated in a Project Engineering Co-Op at Jacobs Technologies and took part in a Senior Design Project. Both experiences would provide her incredible tools for her work in the engineering field. Early in her engineering career, she spent time in private industry serving as a Proposal Engineer for Loesche America, Inc., a Design Engineer for Kolberg Pioneer Inc. and Plant Design Engineer for FLS Smith.

She continued her service to her country with the U.S. Navy, now as a civilian, and in the capacity of mechanical engineer and subject matter expert at the Naval Sea Logistics Center. At the Center, she provided support for submarine safety and deep submergence system platforms.

Currently, Sheyla is a mechanical engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division. She has experience across multiple engineering fields, including propulsion and power, civil and systems engineering and thermal systems design. She currently serves as a principle for safety for the unmanned influence sweep system mine hunting vehicle and is the safety lead for the integration of the clandestine mine program.

Safety systems engineering is a specialty field responsible for identifying and eliminating hazards before they become a problem in the field. Before someone can be considered a principal for safety they must undergo a rigorous training and applications process, one which must be reviewed by a special Naval Sea System Command panel. Sheyla completed the training and certification process in record time gaining the trust and admiration of her superiors and colleagues in the process. She immediately assumed the role of principal for safety for several projects within the program office.

Sheyla is praised by her superiors for her ability to maintain good lines of communication between co-workers and management. Sheyla routinely seeks the advice of NAVSEA Systems Safety experts as well as her co-workers, and has quickly developed a solid network of experts ready to support her.

Sheyla gives back to the NAVSEA community in various ways including mentoring two younger Systems Safety Engineers who were hired after her, sharing information and lessons learned to ensure their success. Proud of her Hispanic heritage and empathetic to the struggles facing other talented, aspiring young Hispanic engineers, Sheyla has also served as a Hispanic talent recruiter for NAVSEA traveling to various universities to recruit for the organization.

In addition to her demonstrated technical skills and strong leadership abilities, Sheyla holds bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics from the Interamerican University in Puerto Rico and in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State to go along with her master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Colorado Technical University.

A recipient of several awards during her career, among them is a U.S. Army Achievement Medal, the NAVSEA Logistics Center Multiple Service Award and the NAVSEA Meritorious Journey Citation. In 2016, GMiS proudly honored Sheyla with a STEM Hero Award.

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