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A better world through a systems approach

INCOSE Midwest Gateway: Systems Engineering Career Lifecycle

  • Date:
    Feb 28, 2019 - 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
  • Address: 418 S. Florissant Rd.
  • Location: Ferguson, MO
  • Venue:
    Ferguson Brewing Company
  • Contact: Kirk Kittell
  • Email:

Do us a favor: print and post a flyer

What does a career in systems engineering look like? It depends on where you're looking from. We're hosting a panel of five systems engineers from various stages of the career lifecycle—a student, a new systems engineer, a mid-career systems engineer, an experienced systems engineer, and a retired systems engineer—to answer questions about what it means to be a professional systems engineer.

There are no slides in this discussion. Each panelist will have a few minutes to introduce themselves, then we will go to a lightning round of one-minute answers to questions collected before and during the event.

If you attend, you participate—the audience will get their chance to answer as well as ask.


(Bios posted further down)

  • Student: Shaun Mathews (Saint Louis University, incoming Boeing)
  • Early-career: Kara Heimburger (Leonardo DRS)
  • Mid-career: Matt Ingram (Mastercard)
  • Experienced: Mary Malast (Leonardo DRS)
  • Beyond career: Bill Jennings (retired Boeing)


  • 5:00 - social time, cash bar (Ferguson Brewing Co. is famous for its Pecan Brown Ale)
  • 5:30 - dinner (barbecue chicken, season vegetables, bistro potatoes, house garden salad)
    • If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, let us know when you register and we'll get what you need
  • 6:30 - lightning round Q&A
  • 7:30 - networking, etc.


  • When: 5:00-8:00pm, Thursday, February 28, 2019
  • Where: Sky Room, Ferguson Brewing Company, 418 S. Florissant Rd., Ferguson, MO
  • Who: Anyone who wants to give or take advice about careers in systems engineering

This is a mentoring event, but we're not calling it a mentoring event. If you would like to be a systems engineering mentor, or to be mentored as a systems engineer, email us at and we'll make the connection.

About our panelists

Bill Jennings

William (Bill) Jennings is the Phantom Works Affordability Lead for the Boeing Company. He has been responsible for ensuring that programs like the US Navy MQ-25, US Air Force T-X and other programs have defined both strategic objectives and tactical plans for WINNING new programs. I have spent nearly my entire career working in the Phantom Works division performing capability-based, cost effectiveness analyses to address DoD Customers needs and shape their requirements. I will be retiring from The Boeing Company on 29 March 2019 and have transitioned to a new career working for the Southwestern Electric Cooperative located in Greenville, Illinois.

Ask me about: What is the most effective approach for interfacing with senior leaders who want to implement Affordability best practices and perform cost effectiveness analyses?

Mary Malast

I worked in aerospace on antennas, radar, etc. until 2009 when I joined Boeing’s Future Combat Systems program. I spent five years working on FCS. I supported the Sever Institute’s Systems Integration program at Washington University for one year prior to termination of the systems integration program. Last April I joined Leonardo DRS as a systems engineer. I currently support a number of projects and work on requirements, statements of work, trade studies, and analysis.

Ask me about: Why all programs should start out red (critical) and progress to green (successful) instead of green to red.

Matt Ingram

Matthew Ingram is a senior consultant at Mastercard. He has earned professional certification in systems engineering, software quality, security, scaled agile, and project management. His CSEP was granted in July 2018 with referenced experience areas in Requirements Engineering, Verification/Validation, and Quality Management. He graduated from the University of Southern California in systems engineering and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in computer science.

Ask me about: Continuous Integration

Kara Heimburger

I am a recent graduate of Saint Louis University who studied Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. I obtained my Master’s in Engineering with a thesis entitled “Secondary Endwall flow in a Turbine Blade Cascade.” I have been working as a Systems Engineer at Leonardo DRS since August of 2018. I have been supporting a Surveillance Suite that will be integrated with military vehicle for Canada. I have worked on requirements, analysis reports, and other small projects in hopes that I learn the ropes of Systems Engineering.

Ask me about: What is one of the most important things you have learned about Systems Engineering?

Shaun Mathews

Shaun is a graduate student for the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Program at Saint Louis University (Parks College). He had taken his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from India. He has done two internships – Air India and Southwest Airlines – both in the Aircraft Maintenance and Performance Engineering Department and will be starting at The Boeing Company as a Systems Engineer in Oklahoma City this June.

Ask me about: how to pursue your academic life to get to your passion.