Three women engineers at Honeywell share their stories

Three women engineers at Honeywell share their stories

 February 21, 2019

 Read time

Honeywell celebrates women engineers and the extraordinary role they play in innovation. In this article, we hear from three impressive women who are leaders in their field and find out more about their exciting careers with the company. 

Melissa Jones, Aerospace Software Engineer for Honeywell in Clearwater, Florida

At Honeywell, Melissa develops test software for Embedded Global Positioning and Inertial Navigation Systems. These units are put in fighter jets, military helicopters and unmanned space vehicles. 

Sharing her work with her family

Melissa says that the coolest thing she's done at Honeywell was sharing with her family a personal tour of a CH-47 Chinook military helicopter, where one of the products that she tests is used as the primary guidance for the platform. 

"It was really cool to show them the end result of the work that I do," explains Melissa.  

Encouraging young women into STEM

Since working at Honeywell, Melissa has had the chance to join her local Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section and be on the Outreach committee. Earlier this year, she facilitated an outreach event for teenage girls called "Future Figures" where they watched and discussed the film Hidden Figures. This event aimed to encourage their interest in STEM fields.

"This would not have been possible without Honeywell's support of SWE memberships," says Melissa. "This support has also allowed me to present at regional SWE conferences to share my experiences and empower Women in STEM."

Understanding the importance of innovation 

Melissa understands that innovation means creating a solution to meet a requirement or need.

"Many times we continue to do things because “it’s always been done that way,” but that doesn’t mean it’s the best solution. I’ve been driven by the opportunities of ways to improve our test methods," adds Melissa.

Outside of work, Melissa enjoys family time with her husband, Vernon and their three year old son, Landon. The family enjoy trail running, college football and Do-It-Yourself projects inspired by Melissa's self-confessed Pinterest addiction.

Jennifer Reich, Aerospace Principal Product Design Engineer for Honeywell in Tempe, Arizona

At Honeywell, Jennifer is an aerodynamic analyst who specializes in using computational fluid dynamics to design and develop engine inlet and exhaust systems, pneumatic valves, space and marine valves, and some unique products in between. This means that she uses analysis software to bring together fluid mechanics, numerical analysis, and computer science to solve and visualize complicated air flows within complex aerospace products.  

Working with an amazing team

Jennifer has worked on many cool things at Honeywell, but the most challenging and rewarding project for her is the redesign of the AGT1500 tank engine’s recuperator.

"The team of people I worked with were amazing and the hard work paid off," says Jennifer.

Making an impact on society

Jennifer designs and develops products that go on every type of aerospace vehicle. This directly affects society, whether it be to fly people around the world, to produce safer, more powerful vehicles for the military, or to send people to space. 

"I can see the direct impact we are making, and it is extremely exciting to a part of aerospace innovation!" she adds.

An inspiration to others

When Jennifer's not working on exciting engineering projects at Honeywell, she loves spending time with her husband and two kids. And Jennifer is an impressive inspiration to her family - her daughter (9) and her son (4) like to think of themselves as future engineers.

Jennifer is also an active member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Phoenix Chapter.

"I have been a member of SWE since I was a freshman in college and the connections I have made over the years are invaluable," adds Jennifer. "I also love participating in SWE outreach events to connect with and inspire future women engineers. My little side hobby is training my border collie in dog agility. He loves it as much as I do!"

Mercedes Valladares, Director of Engineering in Aerospace for Honeywell in Clearwater, Florida

Mercedes is a Customer Engineering Leader for the Boeing Defense business team at Honeywell. Her key responsibilities include collaborating with the Honeywell customer business team and business development on the technology pipeline and new products to create growth and representing Honeywell engineering at customer meetings.

An early love of engineering

Mercedes became an engineer because she always loved math, science and problem solving.

"One of my high school counselors planted the seed when he suggested I go into engineering and I wanted to be like my older brother who is a mechanical engineer," says Mercedes.

Working on unique projects

Mercedes has worked on lots of cool products for either satellites or other spacecraft such as the Shuttle and the Orion space capsule, but one of the most unique things she has helped create was an automated CO2 Snow cleaning system, which was designed and built over 22 years ago and it is still in use in the clean rooms at Honeywell's Clearwater site.

Inspired to innovate

For Mercedes, innovation is finding and developing a new method of solving a new or current problem.

"It is always the need to provide a solution to a particular challenge or set of challenges which inspires me to innovate," adds Mercedes.

As well as developing her impressive career at Honeywell, Mercedes likes reading, spending time at the beach, volunteering at church, traveling and spending time with family and friends. 

Join impressive women like Melissa, Jennifer and Mercedes at Honeywell 

Find out more about Honeywell's workplace culture of diversity and inclusion and start building your own career future with Honeywell today.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


Join our women's careers community