Sandra L. Postel, F.SWE

Distinguished Service Award

Sandra L. Postel, F.SWE, Distinguished Service Award, Headshot

Sandra L. Postel, F.SWE

Retired Boeing Executive

For a career underscored by mentoring and advocacy; for advancing and increasing SWE corporate sponsorships to mutual benefit; and for decades-long commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sandra L. Postel, F.SWE, began her 30-year career with The Boeing Company as a chemical process engineer in manufacturing R&D. She progressed through many assignments in R&D, and ultimately became director of the organization. She then led organizations such as the Composite Manufacturing Center and the Interiors Manufacturing Center. She served the company as vice president of quality; vice president/general manager of the Propulsion Systems Division; and vice president, manufacturing and quality before retiring in 2009. Throughout her Boeing career, Postel championed, mentored, and served as an advocate for women engineers. Boeing recognized her efforts with the company’s 2005 Affirmative Action Excellence Award.

A SWE life member and Fellow, Postel has contributed a remarkable 24 years to promoting SWE membership, while mentoring collegians, engineers, and managers. Her encouragement, leadership, and dedication have helped innumerable women aspire, advance, and achieve in STEM professions.

Postel was a driving force behind the creation of SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council (CPC) in early 2000, and was co-chair its first two years. During this time, she led defining of the scope and financial model for the CPC and materials to guide companies in their SWE participation. She continued supporting the CPC until her retirement.

As SWE multicultural committee chair in FY10-11, and in partnership with the board of directors, Postel launched SWE affinity groups, designed to foster inclusiveness and engage a diverse membership. The committee also started a Multicultural Resource Center to share best practices and diversity knowledge.

In 2011, Postel served on the SWE election task force, benchmarking nomination and election processes in other technical and diversity organizations. The task force’s efforts culminated in a rewrite of SWE’s election manual.

Since FY13, Postel has served on the board of trustees (BOT). She was scholarship liaison from FY14-18 and has been BOT chair since FY19. She helped consolidate headquarters and reserve fund investments under a joint investment committee, and increased communication about the SWE Endowment Fund.

Postel has also supported SWE at the collegiate level. A Purdue alumna, she served on the university’s SWE industrial advisory board for 15 years, coaching and mentoring young women. She established the Sandra Postel Leadership Award in 2002, and an endowment for Purdue’s Women in Engineering Program.

In 2016, Postel was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Wyoming, where she established an endowment to support SWE collegiate members, including sponsoring attendance at SWE conferences.

A 2007 recipient of SWE’s Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award, Postel holds a B.S. from Purdue University and an M.S. from the University of Wyoming, and attended the Harvard University Advanced Management Program. Outside of SWE, she is a past member of the board of directors for Special Olympics Washington.

An avid golfer, Postel splits her time between Washington state and Arizona. Currently, she has her hands full training her new chocolate Lab puppy.