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Story in the School of Engineering

Kerwin Snyder photo

Jennifer Kerwin Snyder '04

Mechanical Engineering major
At a glance:

Alumna quickly puts her hands-on experience to work as lead engineer of a scientific applications firm.

Immediately after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Jennifer Kerwin Snyder '04 went to work as a mechanical engineer at Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in Bremerton, Wash. Working at the Maritime Technologies division, Snyder supports naval underwater acoustic measurement systems.

Snyder has been the lead engineer and designer on a number of cabled systems subprojects connecting submerged instruments to shore. Fiber optics, pressure vessels, cable terminations, and deployment systems that must be designed for a 25-year life in seawater at 900 to 3,000 psi are all daily concerns for this engineer who calmly juggles multiple million-dollar projects, deadlines, project managers, and customers with ease.

"Much of the work I do is projects-based," says Snyder, "and the project-centered work I did at SCU in mechatronics and on my senior design project provided valuable experience in keeping track of deliverables and leading co-workers." She also credits her experience at SCU with giving her a leg up once she was on the job: "The mix of hands-on experience in addition to theoretical background that was such a big part of the educational experience at SCU was very beneficial to transitioning from school to work, and was right in line with my on-the-job experience."

Her career often takes her away from home, working directly at a customer's facility and utlizing resources remotely. As a certified optical splicer, Snyder says, "I have a $60,000 tool kit that I pack up and take with me anywhere in the world that they need me."

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