Lt. Lena Royster Named Coast Guard Engineer of the Year

WASHINGTON — Lt. Lena “Lexie” Royster, a mechanical engineer in the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, in Washington, was selected as the 2023 Coast Guard Engineer of the Year.

The Coast Guard Engineer of the Year Award recognizes Coast Guard active duty and civilian engineers for their accomplishments and achievements. The award’s selection panel considers many factors including engineering accomplishments, awards, honors, and educational achievements.

“I am extremely thankful for the opportunities the Coast Guard has given me,” said Royster. “This award signifies that I am not only doing my job, but doing it well. It means I have the support and respect of my coworkers and peers – which means the world to me.”

Throughout last year, Royster was involved in several prominent projects including the engineering review of semi-autonomous SpaceX and Blue Origin at-sea rocket recovery platforms.

Following the implosion of the Titan submersible, Royster was the sole federal representative aboard the Canadian vessel, Horizon Arctic, during deep-sea operations to locate and recover the submersible, contributing to the recovery and preservation of critical evidence from the incident.

In 2023, Royster conducted holistic technical reviews of commercial vessel designs which include emissions abatement, pollution prevention, ship salvage engineering, and computational fluid dynamics, and spearheaded training on the intricacies of domestic material and design standards within independent laboratories.

Royster serves as a member of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center’s Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT) which provides 24/7 support to Coast Guard field commanders responding to emergent marine casualty situations.

Royster said the award has motivated her to continue striving in support of her unit’s missions, her personal goals, and the goals of others who serve with her.

An award ceremony is scheduled in February to recognize Royster’s accomplishments.

She holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University and is a registered professional engineer in Colorado.

The Marine Safety Center is an independent Headquarters command whose primary mission is the review and approval of plans for the design, construction, alteration and repair of U.S. and foreign flagged commercial vessels subject to the U.S. laws, regulations, and international standards.

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