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ABOUT KENNETH FLAKES

Kenneth is a first-generation college graduate who has spent nearly his entire life in Houston, Texas where he graduated from Ross Sterling High School as class valedictorian.


Kenneth enrolled at the University of Houston, where he majored in mechanical engineering. His early involvement with the National Society of Black Engineers student chapter motivated him to become the leader he is today. While at the University of Houston, he was inducted into the Pi Tau Sigma international mechanical engineering honor society and the Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society.

After graduating with his engineering degree, Kenneth began a career in the oil and gas industry, where he has spent two decades leading diverse teams and developing integrated solutions, products, systems, and services. He staunchly advocates for STEM, diversity and inclusion, and leadership development. He has served in various leadership roles for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) South Texas Section, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Houston Professionals, and the University of Houston Engineering Alumni Association.

Kenneth is a graduate of United Way's Project Blueprint, a program that prepares emerging and current leaders for leadership roles on nonprofit and public sector boards and committees. He also volunteered for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where he taught math to Burmese refugees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for 15 months.

Kenneth has been honored for his service as a national finalist for ASME New Faces of Engineering, Young Engineer of the Year for the NSBE Houston Alumni Association, and Distinguished Young Engineering Alumni for the University of Houston Engineering Alumni Association. He has also received an ASME South Texas Section Meritorious Award for his work developing outreach programs.

Kenneth enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. He lived in Malaysia for two and a half years and has visited four continents and 18 countries. He is an avid sports fan who has visited over 20 NBA, MLB, and NFL stadiums. His goal is to visit every stadium in these leagues at least once.

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • 2023 National Society of Black Engineers Houston Professionals - Member of the Year

  • 2018 National Society of Black Engineers Houston Professionals - President's Award

  • 2018 Who's Who in Black - Who's Who in Black Houston

  • 2015 University of Houston Engineering Alumni Association -  Distinguished Young Engineer Award

  • 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers South Texas Section - Meritorious Service Award

  • 2007 National Society of Black Engineers Houston Alumni Extension - Young Engineer of the Year

  • 2006 United Way of Greater Houston - Project Blueprint Graduate

  • 2006 American Society of Mechanical Engineers - ASME Finalist for the DiscoverE New Faces of Engineering

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