Paula McDonald

Board of Trustees, Trustee

Paula McDonald is a Materials Engineer for rockets used in Missile Defense applications.  She is a Principal Engineer at Aerojet Rocketdyne and has 18 years of industry experience.  She holds a Six Sigma Blackbelt and specializes in various critical high-temperature materials, composites, adhesives, and ablative insulation materials.

Paula holds a Bachelors’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Davis.  She has been a SWE leader for 17 years, ranging from the Council of Representatives to Region A Treasurer and Sacramento Valley Section President, and now serves on the Board of Trustees as the Investment Manager Liaison.  As Region A Treasurer, she helped establish their first portfolio during the worst market of a generation, which was held through the recovery.  The extraordinary gains enabled the endowment of the Golden West Region Legacy Scholarship.  Her fiduciary leadership for the Sacramento Valley Section helped endow another scholarship, honoring SWE hero Mabel Esteves.  She is a talented presenter that has led several sessions at SWE Local and Annual Conferences, was a keynote speaker for Evening with Industry, and a panelist for the 2021 STEM Expo at the California Capital Airshow.

Paula enjoys traveling, music & theater, and exploring nature.  She is a devoted momgineer of an eight year-old boy and has been married for 16 years to an engineering executive.