Distinguished Service Award

Kim O’Rourke, F.SWE

The Boeing Company

For career-long devotion to service and advocacy; for innovative programs that recognize, reward, and elevate women in engineering; and for raising awareness of SWE in her company and worldwide.

Kim O’Rourke, F.SWE, is a senior manager for environmental remediation at The Boeing Company. In this role, she is responsible for leading Boeing’s Environmental Remediation Program. In her 30-year Boeing career, she has held positions in materials engineering, manufacturing engineering, environment health and safety, and quality and lean/process improvement. Previously, she worked for General Dynamics and the nonprofit Institute for Research and Technical Development.

O’Rourke has been a Society of Women Engineers member for 27 years and is a SWE Fellow and life member. She has held various leadership positions throughout the past 25 years at the local, region, and Society levels. These include SWE Orange County (California) Section level (president, vice president, secretary, and section representative), as well as Region level (Region B secretary, lieutenant governor, and governor). She has also served on the Society bylaws committee and the WE Local advisory board. O’Rourke is currently a member of the SWE Board of Trustees, serving as the designated fund liaison and the scholarship data manager.

For the past 25 years, O’Rourke has also supported SWE within Boeing, and her advocacy has yielded results at every turn. She led Boeing’s SWE employee resource group to receive SWE’s Gold Level Mission Award four years in a row (2019-2022). She also served as Boeing SWE focal for five years, increasing company support and advocacy of women engineers.

O’Rourke worked to ensure Boeing continued its employer-sponsored membership program and advocated for continuing the company-sponsored collegiate Team Tech Competition.

When a Boeing site initiated a successful internal SWE mentoring program, O’Rourke supported raising it to a company level. The program recently launched its eighth round of mentorship matching of SWE member pairs across Boeing, and she has personally mentored at least one mentee in every session.

O’Rourke has increased awareness of Boeing SWE outside of the United States. At the end of 2022, Boeing had gained SWE members in India, Australia, Korea, Singapore, and Brazil, doubling the company’s non-U.S. membership in one year.

O’Rourke also developed a process for identifying SWE members to nominate for the Patent Recognition Award. Since its inception, she has nominated more than 100 members. As a result, Boeing SWE joined with the Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership group and intellectual property organization to launch a DEI initiative to increase the number of women patent holders.

Named a SWE Fellow in 2017, O’Rourke received the Prism Award in 2021. She holds a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA from California State University, Fullerton. She also holds a Six Sigma black belt and is a certified Insights Discovery facilitator.

O’Rourke enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, and making fused-glass art with the kiln in her garage. She lives in San Juan Capistrano with her husband, Larry, and two cats, Ellie and Squeek.