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Vicki Blocker Risinger, 32

Global Business Development Manager, FMC Technologies Inc., Houston

Joined FMC Technologies in 2010 as a systems tender project manager before being promoted to product project manager for manifold and pipeline systems. Previous experience includes working as a project engineer and rotating equipment engineer for other oil and gas engineering and manufacturing firms in the Houston area. An active member of ASME and recipient of the Keith Thayer Exceptional Early Career Engineer Award from ASME’s Petroleum Division in 2014.

On FMC Technologies:
Previously worked at small to mid-sized engineering and manufacturing companies that primarily served the downstream market. These provided “a great experience where I could wear many hats and gain exposure to various segments of the business.”

Had become unemployed in 2010 during the downturn. FMC Technologies was recruiting and offered the opportunity to join a large organization that could weather the cycles.

Knew FMC was a good fit “when I had 10 interviews with them. Everyone was very open and honest. They helped me find a role that would align with my interest and skills, so that I could be a strong contributor.”

A fascinating project: As a tender-project manager at FMC, worked with product and project teams to prepare technical and commercial strategies to win new projects. They set up one of FMC’s first global frame agreements. “It was an eight- month process with all of our regions, our facilities globally and in different currencies. It was a different way of doing business that enabled us to be a better partner to our customer.”

On the University of Houston: Chose it for the university’s good engineering school with strong ties to Houston industry, proximity to her home and offer of a swimming scholarship.

On a career in mechanical engineering: Didn’t do well first year in electrical engineering so spent the next semester exploring other engineering disciplines. Liked the university’s College of Technology and switched to mechanical- engineering technology. “I was interested in the practical application of engineering.”

On mentoring: “I’m very fortunate to have a strong family foundation and I’ve benefitted from having some great mentors. Mentoring is a way I can give back. I coached summer-league teams in the Memorial [Parkway] area [of Houston] for a number of years after college.

“Several mothers have told me their daughters have become interested in math and science because ‘Coach Vicki is an engineer and still teaches them swimming.’ It was very inspiring to hear that I made a difference in those children’s lives.”

Mottos: “Don’t wait, go for what you want, ask questions, get involved.”

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With appreciation to Grant Thornton for their support