ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. Aca,!" The doctors who brought Katryna Segovia into the world told her mother Wendy, her new daughter would never function normally because she had been starved of oxygen at birth. Segovia proved the doctors wrong Oct. 12 when she was named Aca,!A"Most Promising Engineer with an Advanced DegreeAca,!A? by HENAAC, a Hispanic engineer national achievement award conference, during its 19th Annual Awards Competition in San Diego, Calif.

Segovia competed against applicants from all over the country, including engineers from top companies such as this yearAca,!a,,cs HENAAC title host, Lockheed Martin.

Segovia was judged on her resume, relevant work experience and milestones reached in the engineering field. She works as a general engineer with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering CommandAca,!a,,cs Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity. Segovia works on the Intelligence and Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Team.

SegoviaAca,!a,,cs win was also cause for rejoicing at the command where she works.

Aca,!A"This is a great day for RDECOM and AMSAA,Aca,!A? said David Shaffer, RDECOM deputy to the commander. Aca,!A"We are very happy for Katryna; sheAca,!a,,cs worked very hard for this honor. This is a great day for our Command.Aca,!A?

Shaffer explained that Segovia works in a very specialized field and upon hiring, there were no senior scientists in her field to provide guidance. Aca,!A"We were thrilled to get Katryna as an employee,Aca,!A? he said.

Shaffer said he had never realized how competitive this competition was until he served on the committee.

Aca,!A"When you see the scope and depth of the competitors, it makes us especially proud of KatrynaAca,!a,,cs achievement,Aca,!A? said Shaffer.

Winners of this 19th Annual Awards Competition represent the nationAca,!a,,cs best and brightest scientists and engineers. Among them, Segovia, a graduate of University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, said she felt honored to be acknowledged in a nationally recognized competition.

Segovia submitted a package to compete last year but was unsuccessful. Never giving up, she resubmitted her package this year and won. Aca,!A"The Army has treated me very well and has provided me with a lot of opportunities to take on a leadership role at work,Aca,!A? said Segovia.

Aca,!A"Working for RDECOM and AMSAA allows me to work on exciting projects and do work that is appreciated,Aca,!A? said Segovia. Aca,!A"Our whole purpose is to protect the Warfighter. I have many family members who serve in the Army so itAca,!a,,cs good to know that my work helps the Soldiers.Aca,!A?

HENAAC, known as the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference before adopting its acronym as the official name of the organization, was established in 1989 as a means of identifying, honoring, and documenting the contributions of outstanding Hispanic American science, engineering, technology and math professionals. Corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, the military, and the business community-at-large have submitted thousands of nominees over the last 17 years for this very prestigious recognition.

Segovia volunteers at Aberdeen Middle School and has served in the ProtAfAgAfA program with HENAAC. Serving in a mentorship capacity, she encourages kids to follow their dreams.

Aca,!A"I always reach out to the community. As those who came before me helped open the doors, I must be sure to help others rise to the challenge,Aca,!A? said Segovia. Aca,!A"I feel honored to speak to kids interested in the sciences.Aca,!A?

With tears in her eyes, Segovia listened to her mother speak of how she has overcome struggles and said, Aca,!A"My parents have been very supportive to me. Kids should listen to their parents. They pushed me to do great things, never give up.Aca,!A?

Segovia looks forward to her next step in pursuing a Ph.D., in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.