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young engineer makes his mark in houston community

2 min read | june 19, 2023

Qua Thomas was named 2023 Young Engineer of the Year by the National Society of Black Engineers Houston Professionals chapter.

As a software engineer at Chevron, Qua Thomas spends a lot of time developing code in the cloud. Here on the ground, his talent and tenacity are driving change across Houston, Texas through mentorship, scholarships and workshops that support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Recognizing Thomas’ outstanding work, the Houston Professionals chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) recently honored him as 2023 Young Engineer of the Year.

“This award is reassuring that I’m on the right path to build the community and the life I want,” said the 25-year-old Florida native. “I’m trying to do my best out there and want to help as many people as possible along the way.”

how it started

Thomas has long been passionate about professional development. He says his involvement with NSBE, which aims to create a strong talent pipeline to careers in engineering and technology for communities of color, helped solidify his foundation as an engineering student and motivate him to pursue coveted internships across the country.

how it’s going

Now a young professional, Thomas is sharing his enthusiasm for engineering by bringing others forward with him, even at this early phase of his career. As vice president of programs for NSBE Houston Professionals, he leads the chapter’s STEM scholarship program, which awarded almost $30,000 to 12 students last year.

He’s also hosted interactive STEM workshops for children in grades three through 12.

“NSBE creates a space for Black men and women to be themselves while pursuing greatness in their careers and communities.”

qua thomas

chevron software engineer

engineering excellence

Thomas credits the ongoing partnership between Chevron and NSBE for helping nurture his passion for leadership and volunteering.

“Chevron culture reinforces the importance of relationships in all we do,” he said. “That makes or breaks the work experience and inspires me to keep pushing, keep challenging myself and keep navigating different ways to solve problems.”

more on that

Thomas is growing his leadership capabilities within Chevron through recruiting, employee networks and other employee engagement activities.

  • As a member of our Black Employee Network, Thomas speaks at Houston area elementary, middle and high schools to inspire the next generation of engineers.
  • As a member of our recruitment committee, Thomas helps us draw top graduates from Florida A&M University—one of seven historically Black colleges and universities that Chevron financially supports as part of our racial equity initiative.
  • As a member of our early career development group, Houston Horizons, Thomas helps lead networking events and activities to welcome young professionals to the company.
  • Thomas recently represented Chevron at the Southwestern Regional Convention for Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s first intercollegiate fraternity for African American men, where he’s been a member since 2018.
Qua Thomas joined other Chevron colleagues at the Alpha Phi Alpha Southwestern Regional Convention Conference in March 2023.

Qua Thomas (third from right) joined other Chevron colleagues at the Alpha Phi Alpha Southwestern Regional Convention Conference in March 2023.

making an impact

Chevron and NSBE have worked together for more than 25 years to accelerate progress for Black engineers across the United States.

what we’re doing

  • Partnering on the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) camps in Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Oakland and Los Angeles, California. We also launched the first SEEK camps specifically designed to introduce middle school girls of color to STEM careers across the country.
  • Awarded scholarships to 18 engineering and computer science students in 2023.
  • Offering internship programs and recruitment opportunities for university students.
  • Financially supporting NSBE student chapters, recruitment, branding and outreach.
  • Providing professional and technical development workshops and programs.
  • Sponsoring the Board of Corporate Affiliates, which helps fund the NSBE Annual Convention and up to three regional NSBE conferences each year.

Over the years, Chevron leaders have been recognized with NSBE’s Champion of Champions award, one of the organization’s highest honors. In 2019, we received the NSBE Chairman’s Award for our investment and impact in Black communities.

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