Kim O’Rourke, F.SWE
The Boeing Company
For expertise in materials and environmental engineering; for being an advocate and mentor to SWE members throughout Boeing; and for demonstrating to young girls the array of possibilities in STEM.
Kim O’Rourke, F.SWE, is the senior manager in the Environmental Remediation Program at The Boeing Company, Global Enterprise Sustainability Division. She leads a team of 25 engineers and geologists responsible for the company’s more than 65 environmental remediation projects. She oversees engineering, technical, and multiple complex environmental permitting and cleanup projects across the United States, Canada, and Australia.
She has charted her own path by demonstrating outstanding leadership in her technical field alongside leadership in professional organizations and the community.
O’Rourke began her career as an environmental engineer and project manager for General Dynamics and the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance, respectively, before joining Boeing as an environmental engineer in 1990. Her work at General Dynamics, which included finding safer alternatives for toxic chemicals used by the company, changed the focus of her career. She led a cross-functional team that used continuous process improvement methods and employed statistical process control to reduce and eliminate toxic materials. At the research institute, she worked with small businesses to help them find safer alternatives while improving compliance with environmental regulations adopted in the late 1980s. These experiences led O’Rourke to environmental engineering and to Boeing in California.
As she gained experience, O’Rourke was tapped for other positions with more responsibility and oversight. She has held leadership positions in environment, health, and safety organizations, where she has been responsible for compliance and risk management activities. She has led numerous hazardous materials management teams responsible for reduction and elimination of chlorinated solvents and other hazardous materials.
She is involved in several Boeing service programs that allow her to connect with girls who are interested in STEM and mentor junior women engineers as they seek to advance within the company. O’Rourke leads the grant review program for the Employees Community Fund of Boeing, Southern CA chapter, a nonprofit that allows employees to designate nonprofit organizations they wish to support through recurring payroll deductions. The program awards more than 150 grants totaling nearly $1 million each year.
A life member of the Society of Women Engineers, O’Rourke has been involved for more than 25 years and has held committee and leadership positions at the section, regional, and Society levels. She currently serves on the Society board of trustees, elected in FY21 to a three-year term. She also leads Boeing’s SWE employee resource group and represents the company on the Corporate Partnership Council. For her service to SWE and her professional accomplishments, she was named a SWE Fellow in 2017 and a SWE Orange County Member of the Year in 2004 and 2007.
O’Rourke holds a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University; an MBA with a concentration in management science from California State University, at Fullerton; and is a certified Six Sigma black belt.
She enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, and making fused-glass art with the kiln in her garage.