•Professional Achievement - Level I•

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Monica M. Quaresma

Technical Lead Engineer

Contamination & Radiation Group

Survivability Engineering-Space and Missile Systems

The Boeing Company

Education: M.S., aerospace engineering and astronautics, University of Southern California; B.S., chemical engineering, University of California, Los Angeles; Additional graduate level work at UCLA and the California Institute of Technology.



Monica M. Quaresma joined The Boeing Company immediately after college, serving as a contamination control engineer tasked with ensuring that outbound spacecraft were free of unwanted particles and molecular films adversely impacting performance. Not bad for young woman who initially struggling with chemistry at the all-girls high school in Los Angeles.  She stuck with it, however, and was accepted into UCLA, where she went on to master the subject and earned a B.S. in chemical engineering.


Ms. Quaresma credits her father for her appreciation of hard work, her passion for engineering, and her college choice.  After emigrating to the U.S. from El Salvador, he loaded UPS trucks at night while earning an engineering degree at UCLA during the day. His determination to build a better life for his family inspired Ms. Quaresma to make the most of every opportunity, and it’s driven her to a remarkable career as a chemical engineer. 


Her early work involved running computer simulations to support several Boeing spacecraft development platforms to determine optimal solutions that would direct the outgassing products away from sensitive areas. Her ideas resulted in the implementation of specialized vents that became part of many spacecraft that are orbiting the earth today. 


Ms. Quaresma went on to earn a M.S. in aerospace engineering from USC while working full-time at Boeing.  He also earned a certificate of technical management from UCLA Extension, and a certificate of project management from Caltech. Her initiative and success led to more challenging assignments with increased importance, scope, and visibility with management and customers. She analyzed the effects of launch vehicles on spacecraft and drafted requirements to reduce the effects of unwanted contamination.  She also successfully negotiated those requirements with launch vehicle contractors that included both domestic and international suppliers. 


These achievements vaulted Ms. Quaresma into her current position as Technical Lead Engineer for the Survivability Group at the Boeing Satellite Development Center. Her work is critical to the successful deployment and continued operation of many of the multi-million dollar satellites launched into orbit each year, performing crucial roles in communications, atmospheric monitoring, and many other functions. 


Among her recent projects is the coordination of plume-effects characterization testing for a new propulsion system insertion. These new propulsion technologies require complex testing under space-like conditions, which can only be accomplished in very large vacuum chambers. With only a few of these chambers existing in the world, these tests require substantial investment in analyses, design, planning, and coordination. 


Ms. Quaresma’s dedication to excellence, detail, and teamwork earned her a spot in Boeing’s Emerging Leadership Development Program (ELDP), an opportunity offered only to the top 0.5% of Boeing’s engineering staff. She’s a leader for community service efforts as well, giving talks to elementary and middle schools, evaluating their science projects, promoting the importance of STEM, and attending career days for underprivileged schools. A lifetime member of SHPE, she has been an officer of the Boeing Hispanic Employee Network and a Boeing/UCLA Relations Team Member.

-By Vinnie Longobardo