•Most Promising Engineer Undergraduate Degree•
Keysha M. Camps Figueroa
Assistant Program Engineering Manager
Education: M.S. candidate, automotive and manufacturing engineering, University of Michigan; B.S., mechanical engineering, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
Growing up in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Keysha M. Camps Figueroa’s parents engrained a spirit of perseverance in their young daughter, something she demonstrated when she raised her own funds to attend an engineering leadership conference during high school. That experience fueled her passion for science and motivated her to pursue Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
If anyone exemplifies the importance of internships in developing a successful career path, it’s Keysha Camps. In her freshman year at UPRM, she interned at Lockheed Martin in their energy initiatives program, where she learned how engineering can positively impact the environment. She returned to Lockheed Martin the next summer as a Manufacturing Technology Intern for the F-35 program, where she learned how technologies positively affect the quality and speed of manufacturing.
It was her internships at General Motors, however, that directly led to her current position. Starting as a Brake Component Development Intern, then moving to become a Fuel Development Intern, Ms. Camps demonstrated her value to GM by implementing a condensing system that generated $26,000 in annual savings.
She quickly fell in love with the automotive industry, with its fast-paced environment and highly technical work. Ms. Camps joined General Motors full-time after graduation, and almost immediately she was assigned to crucial safety-related areas of vehicle design. She worked as a fuel development engineer, then moving onto roles in fuel design and brake performance. Her stellar performance led to a promotion to Assistant Program Engineering Manager in the Full Size Truck Division.
Today, Ms. Camps works at the cutting edge of the most exciting area of the automotive industry: self driving cars. In her current roll, she is a critical program team member responsible for executing GM’s first entry into this breakthrough area of technology, including specifying engineering/program requirements, setting cost targets, evaluating designs, supporting vehicle builds, and achieving program deliverables on-time and with excellence. Ms. Camps also exercises technical direction over other engineers and provides leadership to engineering support personnel and the cross-functional team. Her role requires a high level of independent judgment, indirect leadership capability and the ability to navigate in a highly evolving business space.
Despite her high-profile position in the most important new division of General Motors, Ms. Camps still finds ample time to both study for her Master’s Degree in global automotive and manufacturing engineering at the University of Michigan, and to give back to the community in the Detroit area she now calls home. She is the chief engineer of the Mercy Midnight Storm All Girls FIRST Robotics team at the Robotics Engineering Center of Detroit – a program through the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation. She spends at least 300 hours each year working with girls from the predominantly Hispanic Southwest Detroit and surrounding areas and has created a powerhouse, diverse team of strong young women who are now entering top universities to study engineering. With Ms. Camps as an inspiration, they have a clear role model to emulate.
-By Vinnie Longobardo