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Tech Division grad Darr sets sights on NASA
Alex Keimig
Alexis Darr is a Spring 2024 graduate from the Cullen College of Engineering's Technology Division's supply chain and logistics technology program.
Alexis Darr is a Spring 2024 graduate from the Cullen College of Engineering's Technology Division's supply chain and logistics technology program.

Technology Division senior Alexis Darr knows firsthand that success doesn't come easily, but as she prepares to graduate with her bachelor's degree in supply chain and logistics technology next month, it's clear that her perseverance has paid off.

Before enrolling at the University of Houston, Darr worked full-time and attended Wharton County Junior College.

"I worked in a warehouse for most of the time that I was supporting my education," Darr said. "I looked around and realized that there had to be something more there. I went online and looked up the University of Houston and found that supply chain and logistics technology was the name for the field I was working in, and interested in… and now I'm about to finish my bachelor's degree here!"

"I'm really proud of having been able to work a full-time job to support my education while attending UH," Darr added. "It has probably been one of the biggest challenges in my life. I've definitely had some low points and some high points, but I know I'm not the only student who has gone through that. I think it takes a lot of mental strength, and I think it's a really big achievement for anyone who can do this."

In addition to her team recently being awarded first place in the Port Infrastructure category at the Port of the Future Conference student poster competition, which she acknowledges is a "pretty big achievement," Darr has had the opportunity to work with some heavy hitters in the Houston area while making progress on her degree.

She currently works under NASA's Cargo Mission Contract, which concerns endeavors including "sustaining engineering for flight crew equipment, pressurized cargo packing and transport hardware, non-integrated ancillary system hardware, simple payload facilities, and payload support items for deliveries to and from the space station."

"I'm in configuration management and data management," she said. "Without going into too much detail, I work on engineering drawings to build up the BOM, or bill of materials, for those drawings. That involves listing all of its components, subcomponents, and quantities. I'm also currently in two other roles, one of which involves a lot of auditing, including logistics and my own department, and then I also work in the logistics department as well by helping to process inventory."

"The BOM essentially details every single component of a build, and I have to manage the life cycle of every single component within that build, including its revisions, its current state, any non-conformance reports or anything that might not be following the requirements... I enjoy doing it more than explaining it, that's for sure," Darr laughed.

"[After graduation, I'm looking forward to] being hired on permanently so that I can continue working on the NASA Cargo Mission Contract and growing professionally within the aerospace sector. Before I started working in this industry, I didn't really have a clear idea of what my life would look like. Now I see my life growing professionally and learning as much as I can learn to fill up my toolbox."

Darr also looks forward to serving as an example of the success women can and do achieve in what is traditionally a male-dominated industry.

"I think that now more than ever it is incredibly important to empower women. In the supply chain and logistics field, I see that most professionals are men. More women are coming into the field, but I think that we need to continue actively encouraging women to pursue the field and be recognized in it."

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