Nicolette Yovanof
Nicolette Yovanof
Engingeering Manager, The Boeing Company
Long Beach, CA

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  • Describe what you do in your current work situation.
    I am a structural analyst and project manager in our research and development organization.
  • Why did you choose engineering?
    I was always interested in astronomy and space when I was a kid. In high school I learned about aerospace engineering and really got interested when I learned how I could be involved in aircraft and spacecraft development. I always liked math and science, especially physics, so it was a great fit!
  • Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
    I have a B.S in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a M.S. in Systems Architecture & Engineering from the University of Southern California.
  • What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
    I work in structures where most of my work is analyzing designs to help optimize them. I have also participated in testing where we'll load new structures until they break to see how strong they are. I get to work with a team of people and manage schedule and budget as a project manager.
  • What do you like best about being an engineer?
    I love being able to work on challenging projects, particularly since we do a lot of development in my area. I also like that I can be a part of solving problems to help contribute to aircraft and space development!
  • Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
    When I was at Penn State, I was a founding sister of our chapter of Phi Sigma Rho, a sorority for women in engineering and engineering technology. I loved having a network of women with similar interests and got a lot out of the opportunity. I've continued to be involved in PSR since graduating and am currently the National President.
  • What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
    When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to study aerospace engineering but I did not always get the most encouraging response from everyone. People would tell me it was difficult and be surprised I was interested in doing it. But I had the support of all my family and friends and loved proving to everyone else that I could be an aerospace engineer.
  • What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
    Sometimes it's challenging to get through engineering, but it is well worth it when you get to do something that you love. Engineering opens a lot of opportunities and is worth the hard work!
  • Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    Nicolette is the national president of Phi Sigma Rho, a national sorority just for women in engineering!
  • Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
    When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. While I may have strayed from that, I've decided to learn how to fly airplanes. I'm currently in pursuit of my private pilot certificate and am loving being able to fly!
Nicolette Yovanof is the manager of the Advanced Structural Analysis & Tools group in Boeing Research & Technology, Structures Technology. She began working with The Boeing Company in 2002 as a summer intern in Seattle, WA for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, 737 Post Production Group. She then transferred to Phantom Works in Huntington Beach, CA in 2003 for a second summer internship in Durability and Damage Tolerance. Nicolette joined the company full time in 2004 with the Phantom Works (now BR&T), Advanced Structural Analysis and Tools group. During her time at Boeing, she has supported many programs including the Blended-Wing Body, 787 Integration, C-17, Orion TPS, Hypersonic Analysis, and additional R&D projects. Nicolette received a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering, with a minor in engineering mechanics, from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004. She also received a Master of Science degree in systems architecture and engineering from the University of Southern California in 2007. Outside of her work activities, Nicolette is currently the National Council advisor for the Phi Sigma Rho National Sorority for women in engineering and engineering technology after serving as President and Vice President of Programming. She also works as a volunteer for the Society of Women Engineers in Orange County as a co-coordinator of the Girl Scouts outreach. Her hobbies include swimming, travel, and yoga and she is currently in pursuit of a private pilot's license.
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B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 2004 M.S. Systems Architecture & Engineering, University of Southern California, 2007
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
Latest Questions
  • Maria Marichal asked Nicolette Yovanof, The Boeing Company

    Added 10 days AGO

    I am a 33 years old woman and mother of 3. I worked for the last 15 years on food management industry as an Area Supervisor. I have now make the decision of pursuing a bachelors degree on Engineer.. My options to travel for college are limited and I am having a hard time finding local colleges that offer mechanical or airspace engineer degrees online or local. I have found one option in an University in Arizona to study a Bachelors degree in Engineer Management. I would like at the end to seek ...
    Related to Aeronautical/Aerospace , Choosing a Degree, Difficult Classes, Education, Engineering Branches, Engineering Skills, Internships & Jobs, Mechanical, Opportunities/Challenges for Women, Preparation for College, Self Doubt, Social Concerns, Special fields and Interdisciplinary, Unique Challenges, Work Environment, Working with People
    Answers 0
  • Erin Clarke asked Nicolette Yovanof, The Boeing Company

    Added Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    I recently took interest in aerospace engineering. Unfortunately it was after graduating highschool in Jamaica. While going to highschool, I studied subjects that would be classified as "The Arts" which consists of Caribbean History, English Literature, etc. I did, however, do an Integrated Science class wich is a mixture of chemistry, physics, environmental science, agricultural science, biology and hsb. I have never taken an actual physics class so I don't really know much about it. I want to ...
    Answers 0
  • Srijani, Durgapur,West Bengal,India asked Nicolette Yovanof, The Boeing Company

    Added Friday, May 22, 2015 at 2:36 AM

    I am a class 12th student from India. I want to study aerospace engineering but I am confused really with my job scopes from here. Moreover I want to become an engineer or a scientist at NASA but I don't know how to pave the way for it. Due to very few colleges in India having this branch of engineering I am thinking whether it would be wise to study aerospace engineering or would it be better to study aeronautical engineering? I would like to have a reply at the earliest. Thank You.
    Related to Aeronautical/Aerospace
    Answers 2
    Zahra Khan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Answered Friday, May 22, 2015 at 2:36 AM
    Hi Srijani,
    Aerospace engineering us broader in scope than aeronautical engineering so I'd definitely recommend that. You can work in both aeronautics and astronautics fields with that degree.
    And India is rapidly becoming more and more involved in ...
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    Nicolette Yovanof, The Boeing Company
    Answered Friday, May 22, 2015 at 2:36 AM
    Hi Srijani, I think that aerospace would give you a more broad look at things, but it does depend on if you're more interested in space versus aeronautics.  NASA does work in both areas.  Additionally, NASA hires engineers across all engineering majors, ...
    Read More
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