Silvia Karlsson, P.E., F.SWE, manages a group of engineers in the areas of aerodynamics and aeroacoustics at General Motors. She is responsible for leading program execution, choice of the proper tool mix, global strategy, resource management, and motorsports teams’ support. Prior to GM, she worked for Rocketdyne, then a division of The Boeing Company, on the space shuttle main engine.
A Fellow and life member of the Society of Women Engineers, Karlsson has made significant contributions to outreach, professional development, and diversity at all levels of the Society. She has been an active member of the organization since she was an undergraduate. Karlsson led many outreach initiatives as a member of the Los Angeles Section. As a member of SWE Detroit, she co-founded the Coalition of Minority Professional Engineering Societies and has held nearly every officer position, including president.
Karlsson has served the Society as Region H director, finance committee chair, and conference programming board chair. Since FY06, Karlsson has been a member of the Corporate Partnership Council and leads the SWE-GM recruiting team. She is a champion and member of the SWE STEM Reentry Task Force and GM’s Take 2 program.
She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from California State University, Northridge; an M.S. in mechanical/aerospace engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles; and an M.S. in management of technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a registered professional engineer in both California and Michigan.
Karlsson, an active member of her church, is a life member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Girl Scouts. She grew up in Mexico City and has family in 10 countries.