• STEM Hero Awards •

Omayra M.

Lead Engineer

Standard Missile 3 Block IA/IB Program Office

Missile Defense Agency

As Lead Engineer for the Missile Defense Agency’s Standard Missile-3 Block IA/IB Program Office, Omayra M. Berrios is responsible for the engineering oversight and day-to-day direction of a team of five government and civilian contractors.  Her responsibilities include providing production and engineering support to a $3 billion major defense acquisition program, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Missile Branch. Her position supports the agency’s mission of developing and deploying a layered Ballistic Missile Defense System to defend the United States from ballistic missile attacks from all ranges in all phases of flight.

Ms. Berrios has demonstrated her commitment to the advancement of Hispanics in STEM through her role on the Naval Surface Warfare Center Equal Employment Opportunity team, where she serves as the Hispanic Employment Program Manager and a main recruiter for the agency.

Born the eldest of four children in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ms. Berrios’ love of mathematics and science began at an early age.  She participated in both the Math Olympics and a pre-engineering summer camp at the University of Puerto Rico, experiences that inspired her to pursue a career in engineering. After graduating as her high school valedictorian, she earned a College Board scholarship and was accepted to the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez’s 5-year Industrial Engineering Program, moving to the Mechanical Engineering Program during her fourth year.

After receiving her M.S. with honors, Ms. Berrios joined Pratt and Whitney as a design and analytical engineer, before starting at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Virginia where she held multiple mechanical engineering positions. She has been the recipient of multiple awards including the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Award of Merit for group achievement for her contributions to the Standard Missile-3 Solid Divert Attitude Control System modeling and simulation team, and Dahlgren Division Awards of Merit for Group Achievements for both the Systems Safety Workforce Development Project and the Patrol Coastal Griffin Missile System Development Teams.

After a four-year assignment as the Dual Band Transceiver Manager and Systems Engineering Lead for the NATO Sea Sparrow Project Office, she returned to Dahlgren to assume her current role. She is the proud mother of two children.