Alexis Coates has always been fascinated by people-centric technology. In high school, she was part of a team that built an assistive robotic system to facilitate the timely use of medicine for elderly people. Through internships at Boeing Space Exploration, Alexis contributed to teams supporting the sustainability and development of NASA’s International Space Station.
Leveraging the skills she learned, Alexis worked in the Human-Automation Systems Lab with roboticist Dr. Ayanna Howard. She developed a humanoid robotic avatar that could facilitate the communication of emotions for children with autism. Alexis went on to present her findings at international research conferences and co-authored two publications.
In May 2017, Alexis earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech, graduating magna cum laude. To help pay off her college student loans, Alexis ran her own web design and brand strategy company.
Alexis entered Boeing as a participant in the Engineering Career Foundation Program and completed four, six-month rotations by rotating through Boeing Defense and Space, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Engineering Test and Technology, and Boeing Corporate. In just three short years, Alexis has established a track record of professional and technical achievement.
She led the winning team of the Future of Transportation pitch competition hosted by Boeing’s CTO/Chief Engineer and presented at the Engineering Test and Technology Senior Leadership Meeting. She also presented to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on behalf of the vibration, shock, and acoustics team at the Preliminary Design Review meeting.
In her role as a project engineer with Boeing NeXt, Alexis leads a team that develops strategies for small autonomous vehicle programs. The program is focused on realizing Boeing’s Digital Airline strategy.
In addition to her technical contributions, Alexis has been a champion for diversity, inclusion, and community wellness. She serves on the grantmaking committee of the Boeing Employees Community Fund, Southern California Chapter. The committee has awarded $500,000 to small businesses and nonprofits, most recently to aid in COVID relief efforts and anti-racism initiatives.
Alexis is also a regional leader at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at Boeing, Southern California, and spearheads a group that provides programming to North Carolina A&T State University. She also contributes to recruiting success across other historically Black colleges and universities. Internship acceptance rates rose from 51% in 2017 to 84% in 2018, and the number of new-hire interns increased from 16 in 2017 to 85 in 2018. Additionally, Alexis is a mentor with the Georgia Tech Forming Leadership in Technology Boeing Mentorship Program, and she is the founding vice president of the American Association of Blacks in Energy.