2019 US Black Engineer & Information Technology | CONFERENCE - VOL. 43, NO. 1

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Black Engineer of the Year Get to Know Booz Allen Hamilton’s Anthony K. Mitchell BEYA’s 33rd Top Honoree the 2019 USBE&IT Volume 43, No. 1 | 2019 www.blackengineer.com INSIDE: 200+ Modern-Day Technology Leaders 100+ BEYA Awardees Careers & Trends in Engineering 33rd ANNUAL BEYA STEM CONFERENCE BEYA: AT THE INTERSECTION OF AMERICA’S FUTURE
Anthony K. Mitchell Executive Vice-President
Allen Hamilton

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2 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com FEATURES Anthony “Tony” Mitchell is the third Booz Allen Hamiliton executive to be crowned Black Engineer of the Year. 30 2019 BEYA AWARD WINNERS 47 2019 LEGACY AWARD HONOREES 54 MODERN-DAY TECHNOLOGY LEADERS LIST 62 STEM INNOVATIONS AWARDS WINNERS LIST 66 2019 SCIENCE SPECTRUM TRAILBLAZERS CONTENTS COVER STORY 24 US BLACK ENGINEER & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY


People and Events ............. 6

• 2006 BEYA winner is chair of USM Board of Regents

• 2009 BEYA winner named USC interim president

• 2008 BEYA winner receives GEM Alumni Award

• Melvin Greer is 2018 Artificial Intelligence Executive of the Year

One on One ...................... 10

Passing the BEYA Torch: The 2018 Black Engineer of the Year, Alicia Boler Davis, shares her experience after the 2018 BEYA Gala

First Steps ........................ 14

Students discuss the CCG JobMatch program and share lessons learned from their experience

Corporate Life................... 18 Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)— Explore career and business opportunities in the digital economy

Career Voices ...................20

3 BEYA awardees discuss their careers and achievements

Leading Voices ..................70

• Dr. Michael G. Spencer Engineering grand challenges

• Dr. Chance Glenn

Following the money—strategies for HBCUs to increase their revenue in a climate of ever-shrinking state and federal budgets

• Kendall Norris

Collective impact—how nonprofits can (and should) serve as catalysts for transformative social change

Career Outlook ................. 77 Careers in Engineering

• Industry Overview

• Job Horizon

• Who’s Hiring at BEYA 2019


In December 2008, Jacquelyn F. Sullivan, a co-director in an integrated teaching and learning program, published an article based on a talk given in the fall of 2005 at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) annual meeting. Sullivan’s “A Call for K–16 Engineering Education” urged transformative changes in our education system to make engineers for our nation’s future.

She recommended ways to attract talent to engineering, overcome the absence of women and minority students in engineering colleges and professional practice, turn around the disinterest in engineering among high school students, and ensure that youngsters learn the skills they will need to thrive in a global, change-driven society.

“Our collective challenge is to design a seamless K-16 engineering education system that integrates engineering with the liberal arts, so technological literacy is considered a component of basic literacy,” she added.

In the fall of 2017, Morgan State University announced that it is one of the institutions in Engineering for US All (E4USA). The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds the program, which is designed to teach engineering in high schools. E4USA team leaders anticipate that five Baltimore area high schools, and a total of 15 across the state of Maryland, will participate in the program beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. Nationwide, more than 1,000 students at 40 high schools are expected to complete the program during its three-year span. An additional 30 schools will participate indirectly with other funding.

E4USA will focus on engineering and society, engineering processes, essential engineering content, skills, and tools. Students will earn credit through curriculum covering the principles of engineering and submission of a design project. The pilot program includes professional development for teachers.

The national pilot program will be led by the University of Maryland College Park and include Arizona State University, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Tech, collaboration with NASA, and a sampling of some 70 high schools across the United States. Morgan State University anticipates that hundreds of engineering educators will be involved in shaping the curriculum by the conclusion of the pilot. The million-dollar grant from the NSF will advance the plan to teach engineering in high schools across the country. The one-year high school course aims to engage high school students and teachers to think and to practice engineering, like an engineer.

Publisher and Chief Content Officer

3 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
Tyrone D. Taborn


Tyrone D. Taborn, CEO and Chief Content Officer

Jean Hamilton, President and CFO

Alex Venetta, Associate Publisher, Manager of Partner Services

Eric Price, Vice President, Recruitment and Professional Training


Rayondon Kennedy, Managing Editor

Lango Deen, Technology Editor

Dr. Michael Spencer, Former Dean, School of Engineering, Morgan State University

Dr. Gary Harris, Professor, Engineering Department, Howard University

Dr. Victor McCrary, Member, National Science Board

Dr. Kamal Nayan Agarwal, Vice-Chairman, Modern Technology and Management Institute, Howard University

Jem Pagán, Chief Technology Officer, Flatiron Strategies

Michael Fletcher, Contributing Editor

Gale Horton Gay, Contributing Editor

Garland L. Thompson, Contributing Editor

Roger Witherspoon, Contributing Editor


Beverly Wladkowski, Art Director

Bryan Davis, Digital Director

Joe Weaver, Global Design Interactive


Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, CCG Alumni Committee Chair and President

Dr. Eugene DeLoatch, Chairman, BEYA Alumni Group

Vice Admiral Walter J. Davis, USN (Ret) National Chair, BEYA Military Alumni

Oliver “Bo” Leslie, Retired Program Manager, Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions, Boeing

Monica E. Emerson, Women of Color STEM Conference National Chair

Matt Bowman, CCG Military Program Manager Stars and Stripes Committee Executive Director/Chief of Staff for VADM Walt Davis, USN (Ret.) Ty Taborn, Corporate Development

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360 MMG Rutherford & Associates ADVERTISING SALES OFFICE Career Communications Group, Inc. 729 E. Pratt Street, Suite 504, Baltimore, MD 21202 Phone: (410) 244-7101 / Fax: (410) 752-1837 US Black Engineer & Information Technology (ISSN 1088-3444) is a publication devoted to engineering, science, and technology and to promoting opportunities in those fields. US Black Engineer & Information Technology cannot be responsible for unsolicited art or editorial material. This publication is bulk-mailed to colleges and universities nationwide. Subscriptions are $26/year. Please write to US Black Engineer & Information Technology, Subscriptions, 729 E. Pratt St., Suite 504, Baltimore, MD 21202. Copyright © 2019 by Career Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/BEYASTEM Follow us on Twitter: @BlackEngineer FEBRUARY 13-15, 2020 Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel • Washington, DC www.beya.org For more information, call us at 410-244-7101 Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/BEYASTEM Follow us on Twitter: @BlackEngineer SAVE THE DATE The34th
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2006 Black Engineer of the Year Linda Gooden is the new chair of the University of Maryland Board of Regents.

Gooden joined the board in 2009. She hopes to set up meetings with all stakeholders in Annapolis, at the University of Maryland College Park, and across the system. One of the most respected business leaders in defense and aerospace during her 40-year career, Gooden also serves on the board of directors of General Motors, Automatic Data Processing, Inc., The Home Depot, Inc., and Washington Gas Light Company. She retired as executive vice president and an officer of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Her many awards include Maryland Business Hall of Fame, Corporate Board Top 50 Women in Technology, and Greater Washington Contractor Awards’ Executive of the Year. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer technology from Youngstown State University and a bachelor’s in Business and Administration and MBA from the University of Maryland University College. S



Winner Receives GEM Alumni Award

Reginald Van Lee, 2008 Black Engineer of the Year, received a GEM Alumni Award at the 2018 National GEM Consortium’s conference. The GEM Leadership Awards honor leaders and champions of diversity in graduate STEM education, and longstanding partners of GEM such as MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Aerospace Corporation, Adobe, Amazon, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Since its inception in 1976, GEM has filled the pipeline with more

2006 Black Engineer of the Year Linda Gooden

than 4,000 STEM professionals. More than 50 percent of GEM fellows are African American. GEM provides its fellows with paid internships and job placement at the IT companies and government research institutions in its consortium. Additionally, GEM fellows receive full tuition and STEM-related graduate scholarships. GEM alumni include former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and Stephanie G. Adams, engineering dean of Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. S

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by Lango Deen editors@ccgmag.com
2009 BEYA winner Wanda Austin
Wanda Austin is the first female and first African-American president in the 57-year history of The University of Southern California

2009 BEYA Winner Named USC Interim President

Dr. Wanda M. Austin has been appointed interim president by the board of trustees at the University of Southern California (USC). The 2009 Black Engineer of the Year has served on the USC Board of Trustees since 2010. A former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corp, from January 2008 until October 2016, she was the first female and first African-American president in the 57-year history of the organization. Currently, Austin is a co-founder of MakingSpace Inc., a system engineering and leadership development consultant, and a motivational speaker. She served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology until January 2017 and is a member of the Defense Policy Board, having previously served on the Defense Science Board and the NASA Advisory Council. She is an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a counselor of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She sits on the board of directors of Chevron Corp. and Amgen Inc. S

Melvin Greer is 2018 Artificial Intelligence Executive of the Year

Melvin Greer, 2012 BEYA Winner, was named “Artificial Intelligence Executive of the Year” at the Washington Exec Pinnacle Awards on November 5. The inaugural Pinnacle Awards, which honor influencers in the GovCon space, were presented by WashingtonExec, a private membership organization that has over 300 executive members who participate in private missionoriented council groups. Greer was honored for helping chart the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in his role at Intel using machine learning. As a professor, Greer teaches AI and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,

the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable. The GUIRR provides a unique forum for dialogue among top government, university, and industry leaders of the national science and technology enterprise. Working with Data for Democracy, Greer is part of a group of data scientists working on developing a code of AI ethics and addressing the legal, ethical, and societal implications of wider AI adoption. S

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Digital Connection: Wanda Austin Melvin Greer receives award for AI Executive of the Year
Greer was honored for helping chart the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in his role at Intel using machine learning.


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Alicia Boler Davis is an automotive executive who has a full plate. As executive vice president of General Motors Global Manufacturing, her responsibilities include leading GM’s global manufacturing operations, manufacturing engineering, and labor relations organizations. She also serves on three boards.

Last year, she was bestowed with the 2018 Black Engineer of the Year Award, and with it came opportunities for meetings, speaking engagements, and interactions with leaders as well as students. Boler Davis not only made room on her plate, but she embraced each opportunity and said it’s inspired her to do more.

“It’s such a great honor to be recognized,” said Boler Davis, adding

that countless people have told her they heard or read about her recognition and the work she’s been doing.

“I have learned that with this recognition comes a lot of responsibility,” she said. “It has really energized me to do more and have a bigger impact on African Americans pursuing STEM careers.”

During the past year, Boler Davis has

been involved in bolstering GM’s STEM commitment through a partnership with The Links, Inc. and the (NSBE) Jr. chapter. She secured a $30,000 grant to help introduce students to STEM at an early age (starting with fourthgraders) with the goal of increasing the number of under-represented minorities pursuing STEM careers.

During 2018, she also visited North Carolina A&T State University and spent time with the dean of the

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engineering college, Robin Coger. She brought along a team from GM to look at ways to strengthen support for the school. She said she was impressed with Coger, as well as with the students she encountered.

“I knew North Carolina A&T had a strong engineering program. I knew many Black engineers come from North Carolina A&T,” said Boler Davis, adding that she was aware of Coger’s reputation as a strong leader. “I had high expectations.”

The campus experience didn’t disappoint. She toured the lab and observed projects students were working on as well as the college’s involvement in vehicle technology, analytics, and artificial intelligence.

“I was so struck by the diversity on the campus,” she said. “There are students from all over the world there.”

This was Boler Davis’ first time visiting a historically Black college or university,

and the significance of the opportunity wasn’t lost on her. She brought along her son, a rising high school junior, for his first HBCU experience.

“It was a great day,” she said. Boler Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an MBA from Indiana University.

She began her GM career in 1994 as a manufacturing engineer at the Midsize/ Luxury Car Division in Warren, MI. She has held positions of increasing responsibility in manufacturing, engineering, and product development. She was named executive vice president in June 2016. She is a member of the GM Senior Leadership Team and reports to GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra.

Boler Davis serves on the board of directors at General Mills and Beaumont Health, and is a member of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees. She’s also the executive liaison for the GM WOMEN employee resource.

Boler Davis also cites among the highlights of 2018 attending the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering Conference in Huntsville, AL, in September, at which she was a keynote speaker and participating in a question and answer session with students. She also was involved in the Women of Color Conference in Detroit, MI in October, at which she handed out awards.

Asked for advice she would give the incoming Black Engineer of the Year, Boler Davis said it’s important to make time to get involved so one can have the greatest impact possible. Of the experience, she said, “I’m even

more fired up and committed. The realization of the number of people you can reach out to … and how inspired they are to see me in this role really hit home. I have to do more, and I have to remain visible.”

Boler Davis offers the following tips to students and young professionals seeking success in STEM careers:

• Believe in your abilities. “Confidence is such an important thing to have. Confidence in your ability to achieve your goals.”

• Set your goals and standards “really high.” Be willing to work hard, put in the necessary time, and make sacrifices.

• Be bold; be courageous. “Challenge the status quo. Make sure your voice is heard.”

• Be yourself; be authentic. “Don’t feel you have to be someone else or be different to be successful.

• Don’t get discouraged. There will be setbacks and roadblocks. “Failure is a part of learning and growing. It doesn’t mean you give up.”

• Embrace challenges. “Don’t be afraid to take risks; go into areas you haven’t been before.”

• Give back. “Pull someone else along.”

• Speak up. “Be very intentional.”

• Value mentorship. Don’t only seek out mentors who look like you or have similar experiences or backgrounds as yourself. S

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“I have learned that with this recognition comes a lot of responsibility …,” she said. “It has really energized me to do more and have a bigger impact on African Americans pursuing STEM careers.”
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“I began to research the companies to figure out which company would be a best fit for me and vice versa,” Taylor said in an email. “A few companies had virtual career fairs and hire fairs before the actual conference. Those are actually helpful. Personally, using the virtual hire fairs that companies had allowed me to create a connection with some of the recruiters before meeting them at the conference.”

One of the companies she researched was Raytheon, and she connected with one a recruiter through a virtual hire fair. She was invited to interview with Raytheon at the conference and prepared for it by developing questions and going through two mock interviews.

“The hiring manager from Raytheon called me the next day and asked me if I was interested in working second shift,” she said. “I told him I was very much interested. Two weeks after the BEYA conference, I received an offer from Raytheon.”

Today, Taylor, 27, is an electrical engineer II in the Integrated Defense Systems Department at Raytheon’s Andover, MA, location. She works in microelectronics electrical and technology.

She praises virtual career and hiring fairs and says there should be more of them to give jobseekers early access to potential employers.

about the values, emerging technology, and ask the interviewer about their experience within the company,” she said.

CCG’s JobMatch Placement Program places STEM interns and professionals in positions with major corporations and institutions. Through the program, students and professionals are given training in such areas as business etiquette, interpersonal skills, and team building, and are then certified. Interviews are scheduled between October and early February, with the interviews taking place in February during BEYA’s STEM Conference held annually in Washington, D.C.

For Tennessee State University student Tarence Rice, the JobMatch and BEYA Conference career fair provided him with early access to an interview slot with Texas Instruments. It was one of two companies—Intel was the other— with which he was most interested for an internship opportunity during the summer between his junior and senior years.

His first interview on the job fair floor with a Texas Instruments manager was immediately followed by a second interview at the event. Rice also had an interview at the career fair with Northrup Grumman for a software position.

After one of her mentors told her about the BEYA STEM Global Competitive Conference, she researched the program and event, realized she could attend the career fair portion at no charge, and registered for the program and conference.

Taylor explained she made a list of 10 companies and created a profile on and uploaded a resume to JobMatch Placement’s site.

“It’s another resource that students can use to not only seek employment for internships, co-ops, and full-time, but to actually get those jobs,” Taylor said. “It’s also a great place to network.”

Taylor said the experience taught her a great deal about patience and being persistent.

“When interviewing with a company, make sure that you ask questions

“I was able to show them my skills and interest,” said Rice of the interview process.

About a month later, he heard back from Texas Instruments and was offered a 12-week summer internship.

As a result, this past summer, Rice interned at Texas Instruments in Dallas, TX, where he worked in semiconductor testing. His position allowed him to enhance the testing process and ensure test results were valid.

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Gale Horton Gay editors@ccgmag.com
Taylor put her nose to the grindstone to earn her master’s degree in nanoengineering from North Carolina A&T University and her Bachelor of Science degree in electronic engineering from Norfolk State University. She did the same when it came to launching her career and using Career Communication Group’s (CCG) JobMatch Placement Program through BEYA’s website.

“Working for Texas Instruments is an incredible experience. It has helped connect the theory discussed in courses with practical applications,” said Rice, 23, who is majoring in electrical engineering with a concentration in computers.

He said he was given a great deal of responsibility in his internship position, including conducting his own projects and presenting his findings to his peers..

Rice, who’s on course to graduate in May, has been applying for fellowships in hopes of making graduate work his next step. Ideally, he sees himself

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working in artificial intelligence and machine mining in the future. S
“Working for Texas Instruments is an incredible experience. It has helped connect the theory discussed in courses with practical applications,” said Rice, 23, who is majoring in electrical engineering with a concentration in computers.
Digital Connection: JobMatch Danielle Taylor, electrical engineer, Raytheon Company Tarence Rice, student, Tennessee State University

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Smart technology is having a growing impact on every aspect of life. “STEM professionals are in the best position to take advantage of this coming change,” says Jem Pagán, president of BluSky Consulting.

Pagán, with over 25 years of experience in the information technology field, sees the developing field of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as fertile ground for the careers of STEM professionals who are early adopters. As a result of “the level of technology ... currently [being] at a first-grade level ... and [artificial intelligence is] at the third-grade level, after 75 years of R&D,” there are opportunities and room for continued growth.

Pagán describes the industrial internet of things as “the marriage between the digital and physical world.” Sensors in the physical world monitor conditions and send that information to the digital world. In the digital world, decisions are made and actions are taken based on the information. A simple example of this is motion sensors that turn on lights when a person enters a room. Also, sensors can be used to monitor equipment and provide information on what maintenance will be needed, when it will be needed, and suggest areas for future research and development for that equipment. Technology is able to make simple decisions that take human action out of the process.

While the industrial internet of things takes the human decision making out of the day-to-day process, there is still a need for human experience.

”What is missing is the human element that has the experience to understand workflow and business processes and efficiencies and can interpret data ... and provide that extra layer of cognitive insight that is missing in the technology,” Pagán said.

Pagán believes it is easy for STEM professionals to begin to explore the industrial internet of things due to their experience with ERP systems, productivity applications, visualization dashboards, and data.

Also, they only need to ask themselves two questions to innovate or formulate the industrial internet of things. These questions arise out of our daily lives. First, “what do I do on a repeated basis that I would love to automate?” And second,” how can I change something that frustrates or annoys me?”

With these two questions, it is possible to create (1) a disruption in the industry that improves the consumer experience, (2) an emerging market with a lot of market potential, or (3) research, and find a good position

in development, design, monitoring, management, or business processes required for the internet of things. However, he cautions, “for career advancement, technology alone does not move the needle. STEM professionals [need] the ability to look at it [from] a business, people, and process [perspective].”

As new companies come up with disruptive themes or technologies, older businesses suffer from loss of revenue and market share, and failure to adopt. The STEM professional who understands what was, what is, and what could be, and can see the opportunities that lie between what is and what could be will always be of value to any market. S

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The United States military has a reputation for opening doors to STEM careers throughout its multiple branches for countless patriots. As the country has continued to diversify over the years, so has the military. Today, we have an impressive list of minorities who have worked their way through the ranks to become leaders in their respective fields.

Col. Jason E. Kelly, Leo A. Brooks Jr., and Walter Price each share stories about their experiences and achievements and the lessons that come from a career in both STEM and service to their country.

Kelly currently serves as commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Afghan District. When it comes to his personal journey to a career in STEM, he says he always knew he enjoyed math and science and considered himself to be a tinkerer. The Flint, MI native recalls participating as a child in a collaborative program between the Flint Public School System and General Motors. This program exposed him, and other inner-city children, to the science behind an industry that drove the surrounding economy.

“I’ve always been interested in how things worked,” Kelly said, “and I’ve always liked looking under the hood. You know, the type [to] take it apart [and] try to put it back together and hope you don’t have any parts left over when you are done.”

Kelly graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1994 with a commission as an engineer officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from West Point, and master’s degrees in engineering management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, statistics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, joint campaign planning

and strategy from the National Defense University, and strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He has held leadership positions from platoon to brigade, with duty in Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. In his current role, Kelly leads the Afghanistan District, which helps deliver critical host nation security infrastructure and coalition advisory platforms in support of long-term stability.

Ultimately, he credits his list of achievements and accolades to the teamwork and collaboration within the Army that they have dedicated their lives to serving.

“Each day, I am afforded the opportunity to interact with selfless, dedicated, innovative, and professional volunteers,” Kelly said in praise of his military colleagues, “and I’ve been on some really good teams, with the Army team being the greatest of them all.”

When asked what words of advice he has for students or young professionals, Kelly reminds future leaders to dream and think big with the intention to set goals, chart courses, and ultimately achieve those goals. He recommends the acceptance of the necessity of hard work and also to REST (read, exercise, sleep, think). He wants students and young professionals to remember that it takes a village, and to not set limits for themselves or try to go through their journey on their own.

Brooks is currently the vice president of Defense, Space & Security for Boeing Government Operations, acting as the senior advisor and liaison for the company with NASA, the Pentagon, and the Department of Homeland Security. He took up this role after retiring from the U.S. Army after 27 years of service and following his final role as vice director of the Army Staff, Office of the

Chief of Staff, in the Pentagon.

His leadership and dedication to every job and responsibility led to Brooks receiving several notable awards and recognitions including the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2006,

the Freedom Team Salute Award for outstanding service to the nation by the Secretary of the Army in 2007, the Black Engineer of the Year 2009 Military Leadership Stars & Stripes Award, and induction into the Hall of Fame in 2014. One of his career achievements that he is most proud of was his position as commandant of cadets for the U. S. Military Academy.

Brooks comes from a long lineage of U.S. service members. His father is a retired major general in the U.S. Army, and his brother is currently serving as an army general. What makes Brooks’ path unique is his transition into a corporate environment while still contributing to national security.

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“I am excited and privileged to be a part of growing a mixed generation of leaders,” said Price, “and I take that responsibility very seriously.”

Reflecting on the adjustment of moving from the military to a corporate environment, he believes that keeping an open mind and attitude while stepping into a new role made the transition a positive experience. The many roles and responsibilities he had during his time in the U.S. Army helped shape him to take on a new position with Boeing Government Operations.

“I’ve been given a tremendous opportunity to help build a team that has grown and become best in class,” he said about his current role. “There is so much to look forward to including the launching of new projects and continuing to improve existing systems.”

Brooks sets an example for students and young professionals when it comes to creating leadership when taking on new opportunities. He encourages them to continue to work hard in everything you do and not to be afraid to grow and take on new identities.

Walter Price is a senior systems engineer at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. In his over 38 years as military operational/test flight officer and civilian engineer, stepping into numerous roles for the Air Force, Price has forged a distinguished career for himself with a number of accomplishments and accolades. Some of these roles include scramjet propulsion technical area lead at Air Force Research Laboratory’s Aerospace Systems Directorate for the HighSpeed Strike Weapon System, and the rocket booster lead engineer for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) over $500 million hypersonic demonstration programs.

Price recalls the excitement he felt in the late 1960s when the Apollo program launched to send the first men to the moon. From a young age

he was fascinated with aviation, and a career in STEM and the Air Force was a perfect opportunity for him to grow a career in STEM. Price’s leadership and level of responsibility are not lost on him. His contributions as an engineer and in the Air Force as a leader within the organization set a strong example for African Americans pursuing STEM.

“I am excited and privileged to be a part of growing a mixed generation of leaders,” said Price, “and I take that responsibility very seriously.”

His experience in the Air Force, as well as a career in engineering, have taught him many lessons that he wants to continue to share with the next generation of STEM leaders. Some of the advice he offers students and young professionals is to take time to build a foundation and become an expert in your field. He encourages others to acknowledge the value in teamwork and community engagement and service. An advocate for student mentorship, Price reminds students to seek mentors, but to remember that they don’t have to look like you for you to learn from them—stay open-minded about new opportunities disguised as challenges. S

21 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
Digital Connection: Stars & Stripes Leo A. Brooks Jr. Col. Jason E. Kelly Walter Price


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Join us. saic.com/careers to learn more.

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Leading with Character Tony K. Mitchell



Black Engineer of The Year

Tony Mitchell is the ultimate problem solver; a technical engineer by trade turned corporate business strategist over the course of his 30-plusyear career at Booz Allen Hamilton. Accepting the firm’s corporate mandate to “empower people to change the world,” he has a track record of driving operational excellence while also leading with compassion and character. Tony believes that “our principles are our compass for doing the right things— not just doing things right. Success is the result of a long-term focus on character and values.”

Anthony “Tony” K. Mitchell, an executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, has been named Black Engineer of the Year. Currently, Tony leads the strategic development and execution of the firm’s Justice, Homeland Security, and Transportation business.

Mitchell has nearly 30 years of technology and consulting experience, supporting private and public-sector clients in the U.S. and Europe. In prior roles, his clients included the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Unified Combatant Commands, and the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency.

Recently, Mitchell served as Booz Allen’s deputy lead for defense and intelligence business, where he executed strategic initiatives to drive growth and financial performance.

In the community, Mitchell is a board member and audit committee chairman for United Through Reading, an organization dedicated to uniting U.S. military families through the gift of reading.

Horacio Rozanski, president and CEO of Booz Allen Hamilton, noted that the firm was proud to have someone of such stature within its ranks identify and develop future minority talent. “Tony’s accomplishments are a testimony to him and our firm. I can’t think of a more deserving person for BEYA,” Rozanski said of Mitchell.


Mitchell notes that it is an honor to be recognized among accomplished individuals such as Mark Dean, chief engineer for the team that developed the first IBM personal computer, Capt. Donnie Cochran, the first AfricanAmerican pilot to command the Blue Angels, and Linda Gooden, who led the development of cyber solutions for federal defense, intelligence, and commercial customers at Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“Though I have been active in BEYA throughout much of my career, I never

expected to join such an esteemed list of colleagues,” Mitchell said.

Each year, the BEYA STEM Conference, where the award will be presented in early February 2019, brings professionals and students together to share experiences and career information. The goal of the BEYA conference is to create connections in STEM while facilitating partnerships with individuals and their local STEM resources.


The 2019 Black Engineer of the Year uses the annual BEYA conference as a platform for service. Mitchell plans to collaborate with engineering deans at black colleges and universities and their partners across the STEM enterprise to increase African American graduation rates in STEM to keep pace with America’s demand for

“There are many people within my career who took a chance on me,” Mitchell recalls. “Some offered me roles that elevated my visibility and broadened my experience. Others helped me deal with critical career transitions or life events that could have otherwise sidelined me. I’ve had several people that have mentored and guided me, to whom I will be forever grateful.”

STEM talent. “I think it’s important to use the platform to find solutions to that challenge,” he said.

Mitchell advises young people to take

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courses and get certifications that develop in-demand skills, maintain continuous learning, and support career advancement. “As you look for your first job(s), be as mindful about your passions, interests, and values as you are about compensation; focus on the former areas will lead you on a successful career path,” he says.

wasn’t forced to decide between being a father and having a career,” he said. “Those efforts launched me on the path that helped me rise to the level that I am today, with a successful marriage and children that we love and admire.”

Additionally, Mitchell had the foresight to understand that he couldn’t just be an engineer. He needed to apply a business lens to add real value to Booz Allen and his clients. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the General Motors Institute (now known as Kettering University) and a master’s degree in information systems management from George Washington University. “It was during the dotcom boom when there was significant investment in internet startups and wireless/ wireline bandwidth,” Mitchell said. “I needed to find a way to adapt my technical expertise to business acumen, add value to my clients, and contribute to the growth of our business. It was the first time I needed to stretch myself, and it gave me the confidence to extend myself into new areas and, frankly, be willing to fail.”

Making time to network and build relationships is key, he adds. Mitchell encourages graduates to identify mentors who look and think like them, but to also find at least one individual who does not look or think like them. Mitchell has had tremendous success applying those tips for success in his career, but there have been setbacks.


Early in his career, traveling five days a week, every week, when his family was growing presented a new set of work-life challenges. “I needed a path to a viable career that also allowed me to be available as a husband and father,” he said. “That led me through a series of discussions with Booz Allen leaders, who made it clear that not only did they respect my desire to do what was in the interest of my family, but they valued my contribution to the business.”

Mitchell says he’s grateful for his employer’s leadership at that moment. “I

The next transition helped him figure out how to drive a successful business and lead at a scale of several hundred people. “It was my first real challenge to be a leader at a large organizational level, leading the integration of teams of several technical disciplines to deliver new solutions as our clients were going through a technology transformation,” Mitchell said.


Mitchell’s personal transformation came about because of his willingness to take stretch assignments. He also attributes his success to a desire to help others around him be successful.

“There are many people within my career who took a chance on me,” Mitchell recalls. “Some offered me roles that elevated my visibility and broadened my experience. Others helped me deal with critical career transitions or life events that could have otherwise sidelined

me. I’ve had several people that have mentored and guided me, to whom I will be forever grateful,” he said.

Mitchell’s parents reinforced, very early in his life, the importance of education and the importance of challenging himself. “I still remember, as I was headed off for my first scholarship interview, telling my dad that I was a little scared because several people I knew had gone into the program and failed,” Mitchell said. “My dad told me not to measure my potential to succeed based on other people’s failures. That is something that has really stuck with me.”


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“I wasn’t forced to decide between being a father and having a career. Those efforts launched me on the path that helped me rise to the level that I am today, with a successful marriage and children that we love and admire.”
- Tony Mitchell

Black Engineer of The Year


1. Push yourself. Take courses or certifications that will expand your technical and leadership horizons.

2. Round out your skills and learn continuously.

3. Be mindful. That job might or might not lead to a career that matches your interests and passions.

4. Don’t limit work activities to those focused on tasks—include time to network and build relationships.

5. Identify a diverse set of mentors. For true perspective, seek mentors of a different gender, ethnicity, or even business line.

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SALUTING OUR 2019 BEYA WINNERS Raytheon.com CONGRATULATIONS 2019 MODERN-DAY TECHNOLOGY AWARD WINNERS Tayo Adedokun Ogechi Ibe Claudeliah Roze Felicia Daniel Alice Jackson Mark Smith Corey Dyson Jerome Moore Guia Ellerby Brittany Person
Fletcher Professional Achievement Cybersecurity and Special Missions Chief Engineer
Technical Contribution Engineering Manager, Product Development
Williams Outstanding
Cybersecurity © 2019 Raytheon Company. All rights reserved.
Macklin Senior Technology Fellow Engineering Fellow,
Proudly Congratulates Our 2019 BEYA Award Winners
Ingalls Industries
Roclun Barber Modern Day Technology Leader Christopher Belton Admiral Michelle Howard Legacy Award Ronald Ryes, Jr. Modern Day Technology Leader Ashlei Owens Modern Day Technology Leader David Elliott, Jr. Modern Day Technology Leader Eddie Ireland Modern Day Technology Leader Ernestine Thompson Modern Day Technology Leader
These eight outstanding employees from our Ingalls Shipbuilding and Newport News Shipbuilding divisions are part of the 40,000 employees worldwide who stand ready to help shape America’s freedom in the 21st century. Visit us at Booth #1406 at the 2019 BEYA Conference. Learn more about how you can join us at: www.buildyourcareer.com Equal Opportunity Employer | Veterans/Disabled Welcome | U.S. Citizenship Required For Most Positions
Dominique Wilson Modern Day Technology Leader

BEYA 2019


SINCE 1986, more than 10,000 men and women have been nominated for Black Engineer of the Year Awards. More than 900 people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers have received category awards, and 32 have been selected as Black Engineer of the Year.

The Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM Conference has also exposed 100,000 middle, high school, and college students to professional role models in STEM.

Hosted by Career Communications Group, Inc.’s US Black Engineer magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the 33rd BEYA STEM Conference in 2019 takes place at a time when experts are calling on governments around the world and businesses to shape societies that will benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. No doubt about it—the 2019 BEYA winners are at the vanguard of growth, driving innovation in industry, government, and academia.

Black Engineer of The Year


Executive Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton

Alumnus of the Year


Portfolio Director for the Center for Veterans Enterprise Transformation

The MITRE Corporation

Career Achievement—Government


Scramjet Propulsion Technical Area Lead Air Force Research Laboratory


Commander, Transatlantic Afghanistan District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Career Achievement—Industry


Vice President, Defense, Space & Security Government Operations

The Boeing Company

Community Service—Government

FRANSUA THOMAS Materials Research Engineer

NASA Glenn Research Center

Community Service—Industry

JAMES "JAY" NORTHERN III, PH.D. Senior Project Leader

The Aerospace Corporation


IBM Corporation

Dave Barclay Affirmative Action


Human Resources Director, Boeing South Carolina

The Boeing Company

VERNECIA JOHNSON Director, Human Resources

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Educational Leadership—College-Level Promotion of Education


Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering Leadership Fellow, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow Georgia Institute of Technology

Educational Leadership— Corporate Promotion of Education


Director of Clinical Education, Neuromodulation Boston Scientific Corporation

GEM Outstanding Young Alumnus/Gem Student Leadership

CAMARIE ROGERS Officer Trainee U.S. Coast Guard

Most Promising Engineer—Government

WENDY A. OKOLO, PH.D. Aerospace Research Engineer

NASA-Ames Research Center


Geotechnical Engineer


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New Orleans District
Promising Engineer—Industry
CROSS, PH.D. Manager, Systems Survivability Engineering Northrop Grumman Corporation
FLETCHER Space Launch System Structural Design Engineer The Boeing Company
Promising Scientist VIMBAI M. CHIKWANA, PH.D. Associate Research Scientist Corteva AgriscienceTM , Agriculture Division of DowDuPont Outstanding Technical Contribution— Government ALEX L. RICHARDS Director, Test Policy & Controls Missile Defense Agency Outstanding Technical Contribution— Industry RAENAURD TURPIN Chief Engineer The Boeing Company ADRIAN D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. Electrical Engineering Manager, Integrated Defense Systems Raytheon Company Professional Achievement— Government KRYSTAL MCCLAIN, P.E. Installation Environmental Program Director Naval Facilities Engineering Command CMDR. ROYCE W. JAMES, PH.D. Permanent Commission Teaching Staff U.S. Coast Guard Academy Professional Achievement—Industry ARIK D. BROWN, PH.D. Consulting System Architect Northrop Grumman Corporation CEDRIC FLETCHER Cybersecurity & Special Missions Chief Engineer Raytheon Company Research Leadership WARREN L. DAVIS IV, PH.D. Principal Member of Technical Staff, R&D S&E Computer Science Sandia National Laboratories Senior Technology Fellow CLIFFORD L. MACKLIN Engineering Fellow/Cyber Security Subject Matter Expert Raytheon Company Student Leadership—Graduate CRYSTAL A. GREEN Ph.D. Candidate, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences University of Michigan Technical Sales and Marketing GERALD H. GASKINS Vice President, Capture Executive Leidos USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com 31

PATRICK F. GERDES Alumnus of the Year

Portfolio Director for the Center for Veterans Enterprise Transformation

The MITRE Corporation

Patrick Gerdes serves as the portfolio director for the Center for Veterans Enterprise Transformation (CVET). CVET is part of the Center for the Enterprise Modernization (CEM), a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) co-sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, operated by the MITRE Corporation. Before this, he led the Centers for the Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) portfolio at MITRE. In that role, he was an integral member of the organization’s senior leadership team for the CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare, the nation’s first FFRDC broadly focused on health and healthcare. During his tenure as CMS portfolio director, he led efforts to deliver excellent outcomes for CMS. He also led the development of MITRE’s strategy to implement critical programs for CMS. Prior, he served as portfolio leader in Noblis’ Health Innovation Mission Area, where he led vital initiatives for CMS, the National Institutes of Health, Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Medicare Hearings & Appeals, and the Office of e-Health Standards and Services. He has led efforts to implement the Medicare Modernization Act, worked as a satellite system engineer for Hughes Aircraft, and served as the architect for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


Career Achievement—Government Scramjet Propulsion Technical Area Lead Air Force Research


Walter Price is currently the scramjet propulsion technical area lead for the High-Speed Strike Weapon System, and the rocket booster lead engineer for DARPA’s over $500 million hypersonic demonstration programs. In these critical roles, he uses his knowledge to enhance and accelerate American hypersonic technology, the Department of Defense’s number one technical priority according to Dr. Michael Griffin, Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Price is retired from a distinguished 25-year military career. Some of the challenges he faced included supervising training over air refueling navigators, developing new procedures to interpret machine octal codes that resulted in an increase in inertial navigation accuracy that has greatly enhanced U.S. strategic nuclear deterrence, as well as responsibility for leading the DOD and NASA team to produce the first Mach 10-16 scramjet combustion data. Price also continuously promotes community, where he serves as a board member and chair of the Miami Valley Women’s Center, a pregnancy care organization, and the Patterson Park Church council. He sits on the Kettering Children’s Choir board and the Word of Life Fellowship board, providing camping and sports opportunities to youth in over 70 countries. He received an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from North Carolina State University, and a master’s degree in aerospace management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Career Achievement—Government

Commander, Transatlantic Afghanistan District

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Col. Jason Kelly began his distinguished career as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Since entering the service, Kelly has had a range of assignments. Kelly led a world-class team in the Norfolk District from June 2015 through June 2018. He tackled the strategic issues of sea level rise and finding navigation solutions to support the world’s largest Navy base while maintaining commercial navigation to support a container vessel fleet. Within the Norfolk District, he is a leader in STEM outreach and helped foster the signing of several STEM agreements with universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia aimed at utilizing resources between parties to continue to build future STEM leaders. Kelly represented his superiors and organization at the national conference of Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) and has continued to engage with that organization as it tries to build increased diversity within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Throughout his assignments, he has been a leader, mentor, and coach dedicated to the development of those around him. Kelly holds a Master of Science degree in statistics from Georgia Institute of Technology.

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LEO A. BROOKS JR. Career Achievement—Industry Vice President, Defense, Space & Security Government Operations

The Boeing Company

Leo A. Brooks Jr. is the vice president of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security, Government Operations, where he serves as the company’s senior corporate liaison with the Pentagon, NASA, and the Department of Homeland Security. He advises the company’s senior leadership on all matters related to national security. Before Boeing, he spent 27 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a brigadier general. While in uniform, Brooks commanded units in virtually every echelon of the Army, including an infantry brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division. As a general officer, he was deputy commanding general of 1st Armored Division in Germany and commandant of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy. His last position before retiring was vice director of Army Staff in the Pentagon. Brooks also served as the vice president Army Systems, where he provided counsel and engaged Army leadership related to Boeing capabilities. He serves on the board of the National Defense Industry Association and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he is a senior fellow at the Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Government. He serves on several philanthropic boards to include the District of Columbia College Access Program and Great Minds in STEM.


Community Service—Government

Materials Research Engineer

NASA Glenn Research Center

Fransua Thomas is a research engineer in the Mechanisms and Tribology Branch at NASA, but he also spends time as an involved community leader. His efforts have helped with the promotion of science and engineering to a number of young individuals. Thomas has built a reputation for sharing best practices and lessons learned through mentoring and providing guidance to new or less experienced engineers and students, and is known for helping interns for different programs.

As assistant to the chair at the 2018 First Robotics Buckeye Regional Competition held in Cleveland, OH, he was charged with keeping an up-to-date time schedule for the announcer, hosting dignitaries from NASA, and coordinating activities during the competition. He also volunteered as a coach at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church’s First League Robotics, with his team taking first place in the Avon District Competition. For the past five years, he has participated in the annual Assumption Academy Science Fair as a judge. He helps youth development through Promoting Achievement through Community Education. Thomas has participated in a variety of NASA Glenn Research Center outreach activities, such as High School Shadowing Day, Career Exploration Day, and University Day.

JAMES “JAY” NORTHERN III, PH.D. Community Service—Industry

Senior Project Leader

The Aerospace Corporation

Dr. James Northern works at The Aerospace Corporation as a senior project leader. In addition to providing leadership and dedication to his career, Dr. Northern is a committed volunteer and advocate for STEM initiatives. His outreach efforts encourage elementary through high school students to develop their leadership capabilities while exciting them about opportunities in STEM.

Dr. Northern also supports a high school team in the NOVA Labs Robotics Program, a STEM outreach program founded by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to help kids discover and develop passion for STEM. The teams have gone on to successfully compete in the Virginia Robotics State Championship. Dr. Northern has been the co-chair of the Aerospace Herndon Science Competition since 2012 and has been a volunteer since 2009. One of the original goals of the program was to expose and provide incentives for minority students to pursue STEM careers. He also manages a team of Aerospace volunteer judges for regional science fairs in the Washington, D.C. metro area. He is also a key volunteer in his church and fraternity communities. Dr. Northern has consistently given his time and energy to promoting STEM in his community.

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JENNIFER TURNER Community Service—Industry Manager


Jennifer Turner is the global procurement environmental strategic sourcing and operations manager at IBM. In addition to her dedicated career, Turner has committed much of her time to giving back. She is a youth advocate of STEM, connects IBM to her community and has encouraged thousands of students to study STEM. Turner has also spent over 13 years leading the growth and development of the Global Women of IBM (GWIBM) by managing and supporting the execution of events, motivating volunteers, and blogging among many other activities. She has driven the collection of purses for the United Way to donate to women transitioning back into business and organized social hours to connect and celebrate. On behalf of IBM, Turner volunteers for the Westchester Community College Project Transition as a panelist and mock interviewer to help give displaced women the opportunity to learn current and marketable skills to return to the workforce. Her energy and enthusiasm to every project are contagious and inspire those around her.


Dave Barclay Affirmative Action

Human Resources Director, Boeing South Carolina

The Boeing Company

Akeem Iman-Jones is praised by his colleagues for his passion for inclusion as well as his authenticity and dedication to his mission. As director of human resources for Boeing South Carolina, Iman-Jones leads HR initiatives and support to Boeing’s approximate 7,000 employees, focusing on the impact on people. He joined the Boeing Company in 2014 as the HR director for Boeing Defense, Space & Security in Washington, D.C. His impact and drive in the discussion of diversity and inclusion were further recognized by a Communications Leadership Team Award and the 2016 Potomac Region Diversity & Inclusion Award from Boeing before moving to his current position. His dedication expands beyond the confines of his work with Boeing. He currently mentors 52 people worldwide. Despite the challenges Iman-Jones faced in the beginning of his career, his persistence and passion for his work have led him to become an influential figure in the STEM community.


Dave Barclay Affirmative Action

Director, Human Resources

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Vernecia Johnson is the director of human resources for Air Mobility and Maritime Missions (AMMM), and Marietta site HR lead for Lockheed Martin Corporation. She is responsible for providing solutions to address complex issues, including site affordability and new business pursuits, culture transformation, and other largescale change. She champions diversity and inclusion efforts and employee resource groups. She participates in executive talent development and coaching, organizational design, and strategic decision making for AMMM and Marietta. Her previous jobs include senior manager of human resources operational excellence for Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Aeronautics Business Area.

She has also served as the manager of learning and capability development for Lockheed Martin’s Rotary Mission Systems Business Area. Her career has been crowned by several successful initiatives, such as managing the design and implementation of the Aeronautics Human Resources Blueprint and People Strategy Deployment process at Lockheed Martin. In summary, she built a framework for managing the human capital for several internal business units with a focus on cost, consolidation, and cultural transformation. Johnson has a degree in psychology with honors from Elizabeth City State University and a master’s degree in human resources (business and industry) with honors from North Carolina A&T State University.

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Educational Leadership—CollegeLevel Promotion of Education

Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering Leadership Fellow, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow

Georgia Institute of Technology

Ronald L. Johnson is a professor of industrial systems engineering, faculty leadership fellow, and faculty diversity and inclusion fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This West Point graduate and retired U.S. Army Major General has always been an educational leader throughout his many careers—as a West Point calculus professor and course director, the commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School, an NBA executive responsible for the training of all professional basketball referees, and now as a professor at Georgia Tech. He is involved in the Boys and Girls Club of America, as a committee chair in Goodwill International and a national trustee. He has set up an endowed scholarship at West Point, and three endowed scholarships at Georgia Tech to promote diversity. He has tutored students for the SAT and ACT in preparation for admission to West Point. He has served as a keynote speaker at Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity in STEM (LEADS) workshops. The Congressional Black Caucus has recognized LEADS as a benchmark program promoting West Point and ethical awareness. Johnson has mentored students who received Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarships and admission to West Point. He was a finalist for the presidency of the Senior Military College, The Citadel.


Educational Leadership—Corporate Promotion of Education

Director of Clinical Education, Neuromodulation

Boston Scientific Corporation

Viktorija Telbis is director of clinical education for Boston Scientific. She has made a significant impact on educating physicians and other clinicians on the use of life-changing products. She leads a team of 14 individuals and they put on between 250 and 300 courses a year that educate around 3,000 clinicians. Her work has been a significant factor in the adoption of the company’s devices, as her sector has been growing by over 10 percent per year and will be close to a $2 billion market. She has dedicated the last decade to educating physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals on how to select the right patients, implant the devices, and inspire young physicians in their fellowships to provide this option for long-term pain relief to their patients. Her work has been successful in mitigating the opioid crisis by teaching clinicians how to engage patients with more effective treatment options.

Telbis has been supporting Boston Scientific’s Bridge to the Future program, which identifies disadvantaged groups and provides mentorship and summer internships for its participants. She graduated cum laude with a degree in biology from Gannon University. She also earned a master’s degree in microbiology/ immunology from Miami University in Ohio.


GEM Outstanding Young Alumnus/ Gem Student Leadership Officer Trainee

U.S. Coast Guard

As an officer trainee at the U.S. Coast Guard, Camarie Rogers is recognized as a natural leader who promotes mentorship and networking, and takes opportunities to better herself and those around her. In her position of leadership, Rogers has made presentations to flag and senior Coast Guard officers on promoting ways to increase diversity and including females within the service. Through her mentorship, she has inspired a number of others to join programs like the National Naval Officers Association, where Rogers was voted into the position of the Tidewater chapter’s professional military education coordinator. Rogers was selected for a Coast Guard College Student Pre-commissioning Initiative scholarship as a sophomore. She has maintained a list of active leadership roles including Wm. R. Harvey Presidential Fellow, Queen Mentoring Program, Trio Mentor Program, National Council of Negro Women chaplain, Women’s Prayer Circle founder, and varsity lacrosse team manager. One of Rogers’s most impressive achievements is her scholarship fund, through which she awarded two $500 scholarships to deserving college-bound graduates from her high school in Virginia Beach, VA.

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WENDY A. OKOLO, PH.D. Most Promising Engineer— Government

Aerospace Research Engineer

NASA-Ames Research Center

Dr. Wendy Okolo is currently an engineer at NASA Ames. She is leading two different tasks on two projects: the System Wide Safety (SWS) project, and the Space Technology Mission Directorate Early Career Initiative (STMD-ECI) project. The latter is a $2.5 million project that she proposed and won as part of a six-member early career team. For the SWS project, she has led the task of predicting GPS faults as applicable to unmanned aerial systems, working with NASA Langley to investigate relevant flight data and facilitating collaborations and data exchange across and within centers. For the STMD-ECI project, she is leading the controls team to investigate and develop unconventional control techniques for deployable entry vehicles to enable precision landing and improve maneuverability during the entry, descent, and landing phases of spaceflight. At 26 years old, Dr. Okolo became the first black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her previous research has been recognized and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, Zonta International through the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics through the John Leland Atwood Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Okolo holds both undergraduate and a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.


Most Promising Engineer— Government

Geotechnical Engineer

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New Orleans District

Thomas West is a geotechnical engineer currently working in the Geotechnical branch of the Engineering Division in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District. West has contributed to the design and construction of the $14 billion Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System for the greater New Orleans metropolitan area, the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, and the New Orleans to Venice risk reduction project. He became heavily involved in the design and construction of the Mississippi River West Bank and Vicinity Co-located work to increase the grade for 13 miles of the Mississippi River. West has been recognized for his outstanding geotechnical engineering expertise in the successful operation of the Old River Auxiliary Control Structure, the Old River Low Sill Structure, the Morganza Floodway, and the Bonnet Carré Spillway during the Historic 2011 flood. He is a graduate of Jackson State University.


Most Promising Engineer—Industry

Manager, Systems Survivability Engineering

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Dr. Kimberly Cross is the first black woman to obtain a doctoral degree from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She was also a part of the only 1 percent of African-American women who have achieved a doctoral degree in engineering. Dr. Cross has made several technical accomplishments on various cutting-edge technologies during her time as Northrop Grumman systems engineer in the Survivability Directorate Materials group. She has contributed to the development of elastomeric materials as common products on various aerospace platforms. Her extensive chemistry background and understanding of molecular structures and properties led to her successfully optimizing a primary component to meet thermal requirements with improved durability and mechanical performance. Dr. Cross is leading an effort for the integration of 12-plus test models at both the Palmdale and El Segundo sites, providing technical direction and collaborating with engineers and technicians within her respective organizations. In her spare time, she takes part in various extracurricular activities that help expose new students to STEM fields. Dr. Cross earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in chemical engineering, as well as a doctorate in chemical engineering from UCLA.

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Most Promising Engineer—Industry Space Launch System Structural Design Engineer


Boeing Company

Tiera Fletcher is the youngest person, and the sole woman, on the Engine Section Task Leading team on the Boeing Company’s Space Launch System at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The majority of her team are older males. Fletcher landed her first job with the Space Launch System program before her senior year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has worked as a rocket structural engineer, responsible for building an engine section for a 188,000-pound, 322-foot-high rocket that will eventually send astronauts to the moon and Mars. In her just-launched career, she has already amassed an extraordinary number of awards and honors, ranging from MIT’s Apollo Program Prize for Human Spaceflight Award to the Boeing Achievement Award. She has been recognized by the state of Georgia as a Notable Georgia Citizen and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Along with her husband, she has created a nonprofit business called Rocket With The Fletchers to provide worldwide mentoring services. Tiera says that her passion for the development and growth of others motivates her as a leader.

Most Promising Scientist


Research Scientist

ALEX L. RICHARDS Outstanding Technical Contribution—Government


AgriscienceTM , Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

Dr. Vimbai Chikwana joined Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience) in 2014 with a doctorate in chemistry and four years of postdoctoral training in structural biology. Her technical training was in chemistry, protein purification and crystallography, and enzymology. Her early training included mammalian metabolic disease pathways, understanding cancer cell resistance mechanisms to chemotherapeutic agents, and characterizing an enzyme catalyzing a first-known nitrile reduction in biology. Now she focuses on agriculture with the goal of feeding the world’s expanding population. She does so by contributing to gene discovery and development in the area of insect control and herbicide tolerance. Chikwana’s leadership has provided direction resulting in the successful advancement of multiple projects, in turn producing seven confidential internal invention disclosures, three patent applications, and multiple promising new agricultural biotechnologies. She has also led other projects investigating the attributes of uncharacterized novel proteins and subjects related to agricultural loss prevention due to insects. For her work in breaking scientific barriers, she was given the Dow Platinum Award, a prestigious award given only to highly valued leaders with long-term impact across business and workgroups. She received an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Zimbabwe. She also earned a doctorate from the department of chemistry at Portland State University.

Director, Test Policy & Controls Missile Defense Agency

Alex Richards is noted for his contribution in the development, staffing, and approval of high- level policy and procedure documents. He has also been recognized for his mentorship to young, minority engineers in the Missile Defense Career Development Program. Richards oversees the centralized execution of policy development, organizational accountability, financial management, and contracting and acquisition as director of test policy and controls for the Missile Defense Agency, Directorate for Test. After receiving a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama, Richards developed an impressive career in the manufacturing world before moving on to government service in hopes of giving back to his country and developing further leadership skills. His ability to translate his industry and engineering skills into the government workforce has brought unique contributions to the industry.

38 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com 2019 BEYA AWARD WINNERS


Outstanding Technical Contribution—Industry

Chief Engineer

The Boeing Company

Raenaurd Turpin is a chief engineer for Commercial Satellites and Common Products at Boeing. He leads the development of the breakthrough that will bring high-speed internet access to 3 billion people in underserved areas. As chief architect and system engineering lead for the O3b mPower program. O3b stands for the “Other 3 Billion” people in Internet-underserved areas, he is leveraging technological innovations that are years ahead of the competition. His contribution to the O3b program, along with other commercial satellite awards, helped Boeing Defense, Space & Security capture more than 70 percent of the commercial satellite market contract award value. He has received a number of internal awards, including the Boeing Engineer of the Year award, the Boeing Defense Systems Engineer of the Year award, and the Boeing Space and Missile Systems Engineer of the Year Award. Other accolades include the Boeing Satellite and Missile Systems World Class Engineer award, the Boeing Technical Lead Engineer award, and the Systems Engineering Excellence award. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Arizona State University, played in the Rose Bowl as a member of the PAC-10 Championship football team, and completed credentials toward a master’s degree in electrical engineering.


Outstanding Technical Contribution—Industry

Electrical Engineering Manager, Integrated Defense Systems

Raytheon Company

Dr. Adrian Williams is a yield and product engineering manager at Raytheon. He leads a team in the Integrated Defense Systems unit. He also serves as a principal investigator for independent corporate research and product development. Dr. Williams’ journey with RF Components began in 2007 as a yield engineer for foundry gallium arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) processes. He was soon asked to join the gallium nitride (GaN) transition to production, where his contributions enabled success in producing the defense industry’s first production GaN coplanar waveguide MMIC process in 2009. Dr. Williams was responsible for developing critical modules of the micro-strip GaN process. This led to Raytheon’s ability to competitively bid for and land the U.S. Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) and Next Generation Jammer programs in 2013. As principal investigator, Dr. Williams is noted for forging new processes, generating intellectual property, and exceeding expectations for yield and manufacturability. His current responsibilities include managing product yields across a diverse product line, many of which he played an instrumental role in crafting. Dr. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Brown University and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Boston University.


Professional Achievement— Government

Installation Environmental Program Director

Naval Facilities Engineering Command

Krystle McClain has over 14 years of industry and federal government environmental program and project management experience. She graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering. She spent her early career in the private sector. McClain entered the U.S. Civil Service in 2008, serving as a site environmental coordinator for the U.S. Army. She was responsible for maintaining compliance for all environmental media compliance programs in accordance with federal, state, and local laws, policies, and regulations. In 2011, she transferred to the Air Force as a program manager for the Environmental Quality Branch at the Pentagon. She then transitioned to the Air National Guard Readiness Center at Joint Base Andrews as an environmental planner, providing National Environmental Policy Act guidance for the center’s National Defense Authorization Act mission beddowns and aircraft movements. She joined Naval Facilities Engineering Command, accepting a supervisory role as the Environmental Conversation and Planning Branch chief in 2015 at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan. In 2017, she was appointed as the Installation Environmental Program director. From 2010 to 2015, she served as an adjunct professor of environmental science at American Public University.

40 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com


Professional Achievement— Government

Permanent Commission Teaching Staff U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Commander Royce James, Ph.D. is a trailblazer in his academic field and also within the Coast Guard. James is the first military African-American faculty member at the Coast Guard Academy to earn a doctorate. He is also currently the longest tenured African-American faculty member on campus. When he is not teaching and mentoring cadets, you can find him in his plasma lab, the largest of its kind at any service academy. He has active collaborations with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, NASA, and the University of Michigan. His research journey supports the progress of fusion energy and space asset development, a substantial leap forward from the current fission model for nuclear energy. James’ research has been rewarded by over half a million dollars in grant funding. He is routinely published in academic journals in physics-related topics. Beyond his work in physics, he co-wrote the curriculum and is a board of directors member of The Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut which provide innovative hands-on STEM programs that compel cooperative learning, critical thinking, and service learning through community capacity building with lasting student impacts. James graduated with honors in physics with minors in music and mathematics from New Mexico State University. He has a master’s degree in applied physics from Columbia University and a doctorate in physics from Stevens Institute of Technology.


Professional Achievement—Industry Consulting System Architect

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Dr. Arik Brown has made a number of notable contributions to Northrop Grumman through his consistent high-level demonstration of technical performance. His impact reaches into various fields, including computational electromagnetics, antenna theory and design, and sensor electronic systems. Dr. Brown was an antenna tech lead for a sensor electronics system that was the first of its kind, supporting a key national security program. He developed a unique algorithm that allowed the company to meet a key customer performance parameter and unseat the incumbent competition, leading to Northrop Grumman winning a multimillion-dollar program. He later went on to assume the role of chief engineer in this program. Dr. Brown is also highly noted for his external achievements, which include his book, Electronically Scanned Arrays: Matlab Modeling and Simulations, as well as authoring at least six external publications and 25 internal patents.


Professional Achievement—Industry


& Special Missions Chief Engineer

Raytheon Company

Cedric Fletcher has worked on critical programs across every Raytheon unit, with his business experience extending from the U.S. Navy to NASA and from the shores of Japan to the fields of the United Arab Emirates. In his current position with Raytheon, he leads a team of more than 900 cyber professionals. Fletcher earned a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University. His first position with Raytheon Company was mechanical engineer and thermal analyst for radar systems. Since then, Fletcher has served in a diverse list of management and leadership roles across the company’s programs, including the AIM-9X Littoral Warfare Weapon, Transformation Strike Enterprise Campaign, Information Operations/Cyber, Zaqqum Oil Field Defense System, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) Japan Program, and STANDARD Missile 3 Block IIA. He later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Arizona. He published Laminar Burning Velocity of Methane-Air-Diluent Mixtures under Microgravity Conditions and contributed to Burning Velocity in Microgravity in 1999. Fletcher’s business and leadership skills and dedication to his team’s projects are just a fraction of the amount of the total impact he has had with Raytheon since joining the company.

41 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com 2019 BEYA AWARD WINNERS


Research Leadership

Principal Member of Technical Staff, R&D S&E Computer Science

Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Warren Davis is a principal member of the technical staff in the Scalable Analysis and Visualization Department at Sandia National Laboratories. He is the principal investigator for a new project funded by the Department of Energy Advanced Scientific Computing Research program. Dr. Davis leads this ongoing research that has the potential to revolutionize the way scientific simulation on supercomputers collect and analyze anomalous events. Dr. Davis’s team has already developed two newly published anomaly detection algorithms and the capability to embed machine learning algorithms into supercomputer physics simulation code. He is currently applying this research to climate, combustion, and turbulent flow modeling. He is active in organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery, and American Mensa. He graduated with a degree in computer science with minors in mathematics and Japanese language from the University of Alabama. He has both a master’s and a doctorate degree in computer science from Florida State University. In addition, he recently completed a master’s degree in national security from the University of New Haven.


Senior Technology Fellow

Engineering Fellow/Cyber Security Subject Matter Expert Raytheon Company

As an engineering fellow and member of the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) Technical Staff, Clifford Macklin has actively worked across multiple programs and pursuits to develop a culture of excellence in technology. He has established himself as a subject matter expert in cybersecurity and certification across Raytheon. Macklin is recognized by his Raytheon colleagues for contributing a level of expertise to the company programs and projects. In his current role, Macklin is responsible for cybersecurity pursuits, architectures, program execution, mentoring, businesslevel initiatives, and internal research and development. He has led product developments including modernized GPS receiver systems, space and ground Type-1 encryption/decryption, tactical Type-1 secured communications, new secure processor developments, and other embedded tactical technologies. Macklin is a Johns Hopkins University adjunct instructor on “Foundations of Information Assurance” for the JHU Systems Engineering master’s program and has given a number of presentations within Raytheon.


Student Leadership Graduate Ph.D. Candidate, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences University of Michigan

Crystal Green is a Ph.D. candidate in nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, (NERS), at the University of Michigan. On track to graduate in May 2019, Green’s research interests are in imaging medical physics, and her thesis research involves the development and evaluation of deformable mapping techniques to identify corresponding lesions between 3D x-ray and ultrasound breast imaging modalities. She has one first-authored journal publication, Deformable Mapping Technique to correlate lesions in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis and Automated Breast Ultrasound Images. Her long-term plans are to work as an imaging medical physicist at a university hospital, allowing her the flexibility to work clinically, teach, and conduct medical physics-related research. Green is a member of the American Nuclear Society, Radiological Sciences of North America, and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. She was the lead in organizing a two-day conference called “The State of the Union” as president of the Society of Minority Engineers and Scientists Graduate Component. She also assisted the College of Engineering in recruitment of underrepresented minorities to graduate school by recruiting at National Society of Black Engineers conferences and has worked as lead instructor of the NERS “Glow Blue” Detroit Pre-College and Engineering Program for K-12 outreach.

42 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com 2019 BEYA AWARD WINNERS

GERALD H. GASKINS Technical Sales and Marketing Vice President, Capture Executive Leidos

Gerald H. Gaskins began his Lockheed Martin career as a program manager supporting a U.S. Air Force, Pentagon network infrastructure and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming program director in just seven years. Today, Gaskins is the vice president of strategic captures for the health group at Leidos. His optimism and tenacity inspire everyone on his team and are reflective in his accomplishments at Leidos. His service and leadership are visible in the work he has done with the company’s Rising Star program and the Business Development Rotation program, both of which support the development of future talent. Throughout his career, Gaskins has been responsible for leading teams who won significant contracts for the corporation. Gaskins is a Maryland native and graduated with a pre-law and economics degree from Bowie State University, a Master of Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Baltimore, and a master’s degree in information systems management from Capitol Technical University.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, the 2001 Black Engineer of the Year and first woman to win the award, was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998. She is a physicist and the first AfricanAmerican woman to earn a doctorate at MIT. She is president of Rensselaer Polytechnic University, the oldest technological university in the United States, and the first African American to serve on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For 15 years at AT&T Bell Labs, she performed explorations into solid-state physics that led to Bell Labs’ lead in electronic communications. Throughout her career, she has continued to teach, publish, and promote the advancement of women in science.

Digital Connection: Shirley Ann Jackson

43 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com 2019 BEYA AWARD WINNERS
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The Legacy Awards

(formerly known as Special Recognition awards) are named after past Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) winners. This year, the winners mirror the achievements of the following BEYA icons:

Dr. Christopher T. Jones (2016 Black Engineer of the Year) is a corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman’s Technical Services sector. He has served as lead on a Comanche helicopter program and chief systems engineer for the Naval Hawk program.

Rodney O’Neal (2002 Black Engineer of the Year) began his automotive career as a student at GM in 1971. As executive vice president of Delphi Automotive Systems, he was responsible for 110,000 employees making creative solutions for automobile safety.

Adm. Michelle Howard, a 2008 winner of the Women of Color in STEM Achievement Award and Career Communications Group Hall of Fame honoree, is the first woman in history to be promoted to a four-star admiral by the U.S. Navy and the first AfricanAmerican woman to captain a ship.

Linda Gooden (2006 Black Engineer of the Year) was one of the most respected business leaders in defense and aerospace during her 40-year career. She serves on the board of directors of General Motors, Automatic Data Processing, Inc., The Home Depot, Inc., and the University of Maryland Systems.

Walt W. Braithwaite (1995 Black Engineer of the Year) helped perfect Boeing’s use of computer-aided design in the manufacturing process, helping engineers trap out any flaws in the smallest bolt as they assemble entire planes.

Gerald Johnson, General Motor’s (GM) vice president of North America Manufacturing Gerald Johnson received a Career Achievement Award at BEYA’s 28th Annual Conference. He is the first black person to head up North American manufacturing operations for GM.

Dr. Eugene M. DeLoatch (2017 Black Engineer of the Year) is the founding dean of the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering at Morgan State University. DeLoatch is the first African American to be elected president of the American Society of Engineering Education.

Stephanie C. Hill (2014 Black Engineer of the Year) is deputy executive vice president of Rotary and Mission Systems at Lockheed Martin. Hill was recognized for her dedication and commitment to promoting STEM education.

Dr. Lydia W. Thomas (2003 Black Engineer of the Year) was the second woman to earn this prestigious award. As former president and CEO of Noblis, she was responsible for the general management and direction of the company’s overall technical, financial, and administrative activities.

Rodney Adkins (2007 Black Engineer of the Year) spent more than 30 years at IBM before retiring as senior vice president with a focus on special corporate projects and key client relationships.

Gen. Lester Lyles received a Black Engineer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. In 2011, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and he chaired the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Academy of Engineering until 2016.

Gen. Johnnie Wilson is a founding father of the BEYA Stars & Stripes, an integral part of the annual BEYA STEM Conference. A retired U. S. Army four-star general, he served as commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command from 1996 to 1999.

47 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com

Almetia Simmons

Dr. Lydia W. Thomas Legacy Award

Jackson State University alumna Almetia Simmons has a long history with AT&T. She started with the company in 1986 when she was selected as a summer intern at the company’s Basking Ridge, NJ location while majoring in mathematics with a minor in computer science. Her officiall journey started in 1987 working in the Marketing Services Organization on AT&T’s Service Financials. Simmons credits the relationships that she developed as an intern and throughout her career with AT&T for her continued growth and support, both professionally and personally. She relocated to Atlanta, where she began working in the Marketing Plans Implementation Group for AT&T. Simmons has worked her way up through a number of positions within the AT&T organization and has consistently used her diverse skill set to help advance her career in STEM. She continues to give back by being an active community mentor in different youth initiatives in the Atlanta area to help young minorities discover the opportunities available through STEM.

Ramon Richards

Ramon Richards is the senior vice president of Integrated Technology Solutions at Fannie Mae where he reports directly to the chief operating officer. He is responsible for the technology that supports Fannie Mae’s Single Family and Multifamily businesses as well as finance. In this role, Richards works closely with the business leaders to align on strategic priorities, to create capacity to explore innovative ideas, and to ensure effective communication between technology and business. His forward thinking extends to frontiers like intelligent automation. The initiative is focused on maturing a suite of automation tools that will enable more automation across the enterprise. This will allow humans to move away from supporting manual processes and focus on tackling more challenging and complex tasks. Beyond these efforts, Richards has led Fannie Mae’s integration into the Common Securitization Platform, a joint venture between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that supports the issuance and management of mortgage-backed securities. Richards graduated with a mathematics degree from Morehouse College. This was followed up with an electrical engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also obtained an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Tanya Foutch

Gerald Johnson Legacy Award

Tanya Foutch manages the day-to-day activities of resident engineers supporting Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. manufacturing operations. She prioritizes responses for critical production issues and assists manufacturing operation with solutions for transmission product-related concerns. Some highlights of her career include helping launch the 45RFE transmission, now known as the 6XRFE, program at Indiana Transmission Plant 1. After launching of the RFE transmission, she was instrumental to the plant to launch the heavy-duty 68RFE version of the transmission. Foutch has demonstrated her leadership skills by leading several advanced projects at the same plant, and is routinely called upon to present various plants in the Kokomo and Tipton region. Her recent promotion to engineering supervisor has made an immediate impact during the launch of the SiEVT transmission the new minivan. In addition to her career, she lends her time to speak to middle school girls about careers in engineering. She volunteers in several organizations in the Kokomo region, including a STEM camp for girls. Foutch graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering and completed her M.B.A. from Anderson University.

Quality Resident Engineering Group Lead for Assembly FCA US LLC Dr. Christopher T. Jones Legacy Award Senior Vice Presiden—Integrated Technology Solutions Fannie Mae

Felicia Jones

Rodney O’Neal Legacy Award

Global Electric Vehicle Product Engineering Manager Ford Motor Company

Felicia Jones is Ford Motor Company’s global electric vehicle product engineering manager, but to her colleagues and friends, she has become known as the expert of back-end cloud development and computing. In her current role, she leads a team of engineers and computer scientists in designing customer mobility solutions for the electric vehicles program. Her work has been critical in leading the way for Ford’s cloudbased solutions on a global scale. During her 15-year career at Ford, Jones has developed a unique blend of IT and systems engineering expertise, managing and launching heavily-integrated software solutions, building teams from the ground up and consistently meeting and exceeding deadlines through positions of increased scope, scale, and responsibility. Her impact and expertise has touched several Ford products and services, including MyFord Mobile, Lincoln Way, Ford Pass, and all of Ford’s Electrified Vehicle lineup, making her a qualified selection to build and manage a global team to support Ford’s first enterprise-connected vehicle platform. In 2011, Jones received the highest technical honor at Ford, the Henry Ford Technology Award, for her work in the launch of the Smart Inventory System. She also helps create programs and experiences of Ford’s African Ancestry Network (FAAN) as the vice president of the company’s first employee resource group.

Paul F. McKenzie, CISSP

Rodney Adkins Legacy Award

Technical Specialist—Tracked Combat Vehicles (TCV) Software Modernization Programs General Dynamics Land Systems

Paul McKenzie holds the position of technical specialist—software modernization programs within the Vetronics, Software, and Lethality Department, under the Tracked Combat Vehicles Line of Business Engineering Directorate at General Dynamics Land Systems. In this position, he is responsible, as software engineering manager, for leading a talented team in the execution of software projects related to the integration of technologies on the Army’s Abrams Main Battle Tank and Navy’s MK46 Gun Weapon System. McKenzie also conceives, plans, and manages the execution of strategic technology solutions to meet both immediate and emerging needs for the nation’s Army, Navy, and Marine warfighters. He has had a distinguished career with breakthrough technical contributions at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, and General Dynamics Amphibious Systems. He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science from the Courant Institute at New York University, and a master’s degree in computer science from Columbia University. He also holds a certificate in project management from Stevens Institute of Technology and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional. He founded and currently leads the Dynamic Network of African Americans (DNA2), an organization to support and empower African Americans at General Dynamics Land Systems.

Christopher Belton

Admiral Michelle Howard Legacy Award

Engineer Systems Test 3 Huntington Ingalls Industries

Christopher Belton is currently chief test engineer for the John F. Kennedy Aircraft Carrier. He got to his position by rising through the ranks of the Test Engineering Department. Belton is recognized for his ability to demonstrate a growing technical knowledge, as he has written a number of test procedures to support different projects. He quickly became a knowledgeable person for many systems under his direction and subject matter expert for ventilation on board various carriers. After completing his master’s program and expressing interest in project management, he landed an active role as the ACTE overviewing the test department while supporting the CVN78 program. Belton graduated with a degree in architectural engineering with a concentration in HVAC from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State College and his master’s degree in engineering management from George Washington University. He is an active role model and mentor to young men through various organizations and associations.


Ursel D. Allen

Stephanie C. Hill Legacy Award Systems Engineering Manager Leidos

Ursel Allen is a systems engineer manager at Leidos supporting the lifecycle human resource capability at one of the country’s national security agencies. Allen’s career spans 22 years, from Lockheed Martin to her current Leidos position, where she fills numerous roles. Presently, Allen is the cost account manager responsible for a $47 million engineering team budget, the project manager overseeing the integration of multiple human resource applications and systems, and the systems engineering manager leading a wide-ranging team of 26 data warehouse and reporting systems engineers. She has held various positions, ranging from system administration to business operations/finance consultant to network/cyber administrator. She received a degree in computer information systems from Hampton University and a master’s degree in management and technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was the first in her family to matriculate through four years of college. She faced and overcame obstacles, such as being a single mother without any family support while cultivating her early career and pursuing a graduate degree. At the time, she would bring her young son into the office when needing to work after hours in order to resolve a customer’s needs. She has built a career on excelling in all tasks and is always willing to take new assignments and challenges.

Cory J. Weathers

Cory Weathers is the deputy

for the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) program. Weathers is responsible for managing cost, schedule, and technical program performance for a multi-disciplined, geographically-distributed team while ensuring professional integrity of UKMFTS program deliverables. He is credited with leading the program’s achievement of five Ready for Training Use certifications, which were critical for the program. Weathers’ demonstrated skill levels of project management expertise and commitment to program success have made him an asset to Lockheed Martin. UKMFTS offers a modern and streamlined flight training solution for the British Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, and Army Air Corps. Consolidating all phases of aircrew instruction for the three services, UKMFTS is a partnership between the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and Ascent—a joint venture of Babcock International and Lockheed Martin.

George Jonas

Walt W. Braithwaite Legacy Award

777X Airplane Safety Engineering Certification Focal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes The Boeing Company

George Jonas leads the airplane-level safety assessments and certification for Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ 777X program in Everett, WA. He is recognized for his thorough approach to safety analysis and risk management, along with his ingenious talent for building and sustaining teams. A summer camp-counselor program brought Jonas from Tanzania to the United States, which led to him enrolling at Wichita State University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and has since earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering. Jonas joined The Boeing Company in 2011 as an in-service airplane safety engineer, after launching his engineering career with Bombardier Aerospace Learjet in 2007. He has since completed certifications, including a Stanford Advanced Project Management Certificate, Kansas University Safety Assessment and 1309 Design Analysis Certificate, and an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

of Management in Aviation Safety. Jonas recently spent six intensive months overseeing the inception and realization of a Tanzanian youth STEM initiative to coincide with the 787-8 Dreamliner delivery to their country. Along with Boeing Commercial Airplanes Sales & Marketing and Aviation Safety teams, he planned and coordinated STEM activities and speaking engagements across the city of Dar es Salaam, including his own primary schools. He was honored by the government of Tanzania for this successful and remarkable effort at the airplane delivery ceremony, inspiring educators and students nationwide.


Linda Gooden Legacy Award Senior Staff Engineering Project Manager Lockheed Martin Corporation chief engineer

Awais Sheikh

Dr. Eugene M. DeLoatch Legacy Award

Principal Business Innovation Engineer and Group Leader The MITRE Corporation

In addition to serving as the multidisciplinary systems engineer at MITRE, Awais Sheikh also serves as the capability steward for the company’s Business Innovation Capability. His work helps refine MITRE’s approach to delivering business innovation to internal and sponsor customers through research, development of toolkits and collateral, and providing subject matter expertise for MITRE and its sponsors. His 15 years of collective experience introducing new technologies and technology management methods to help the federal government deliver critical services to citizens and constituents are what make him a critical asset to the MITRE team. Sheikh started his career with a position at High Performance Technologies, where he designed and deployed the first process used by the Departmet of Justice to meet a presidential directive to ensure common and reliable identification verification for government and contractor staff—a process that is critical in helping to ensure the security of critical systems used to enforce criminal laws across the nation. While working at Booz Allen Hamilton, Sheikh led the development of DisasterAssistance. gov, an online application portal service for disaster survivors to apply for assistance across the government, which is still used today. Sheikh’s impressive track record of delivering significant benefits to his team, and the government agencies and the citizens they serve, make him an asset in every position of leadership he takes on.

Tollie Strode Jr.

General Lester L. Lyles Legacy Award

Senior Project Officer/Team Leader for Live Experimentation SAIC

Tollie Strode Jr. is a robotics expert who is helping advance the use of robots in military operations. Strode leads live experimentation that develops technical and operational requirements for robotics and determines their impact when employed as a “system of systems.” His achievements include development of the Army’s “manned unmanned teaming” concept and advanced capabilities such as “swarming,” the use of several drones working together to autonomously complete tasks such as reconnaissance. Strode helped devise experimental communication architectures for reliable control of the robotics and sharing their telemetry (video, data) with dispersed users. In addition to his work on ground robotics used to carry equipment and supplies, he helped develop a technology for concurrent control of the robotics, sensors, weapons, and drones. His direct supervisor described Strode as “an irreplaceable hire.” His professional accomplishments clearly speak to that statement. He has over 10 years of military enlisted and commissioned officer experience and over 30 years of leadership and management experience in private industry and Department of Defense contracting. Strode is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

SFC Shane Payne

Johnnie E. Wilson Legacy Award

Shane Payne is currently a sergeant first class, promotable in the U.S. Army. He has earned a reputation as one of the most selfless leaders in the STEM community through his service-oriented career in the Army, and his dedication of nearly all of his free time to the betterment of the local community. In just one year of being assigned on the island of Oahu, Payne dedicated over 200 hours to volunteer work on Schofield Barracks and the surrounding community. Due to his dedication and technical abilities, he was selected by the Honolulu Post’s Society of American Military Engineers to serve as its social media representative where he was instrumental in growing membership and reaching out to similar organizations. As the father of two young girls, he has seen the importance of encouraging female engagement in STEM. He routinely volunteers with Girl Scouts Troop 342, where he dedicated 50 hours to mentor girls, with a portion of this time dedicated to STEM activities. As a platoon sergeant, he has been chosen to represent the 84th Engineer Battalion during multiple engineering missions to provide disaster relief.

Gen. Platoon Sergeant, 523rd Engineer Support Company, 84th Engineer Battalion United States Army


i n c l u s i o n



BEYA Modern-Day Technology Leaders are excelling in industries that drive the $123 trillion U.S. economy. They play leading roles in information technology services, education, manufacturing wholesale retail, biotechnology, healthcare, financial technology (FinTech), logistics, transportation, retail, and energy. They apply their skills and knowledge to the world’s toughest challenges—pushing for breakthroughs in 3D printing, quantum computing, machine-learning, artificial intelligence, neural networks, cryptographic tools, and genetic data. Modern-Day Technology Leaders are shaping the future of smart cities and technology for government, research laboratories, and millions of businesses across America. They are creating new products and processes, as they improve services for a better world.

as of 11/28/18

Troy Wallace

ABrandan Jones

Senior Lead Content Strategist


Djimes Milor Network Design Engineer



Souleymane Gnanou

Senior Principal Engineer

BAE Systems, Inc.

Taalib alSalaam

Lead Associate

Booz Allen Hamilton

Marvette Cofield Senior Associate

Booz Allen Hamilton

Malcolm Gilbert Lead Associate

Booz Allen Hamilton

Walter Hackett

Lead Technologist

Booz Allen Hamilton

Freddie Johnson

Senior Lead Technologist

Booz Allen Hamilton

Stephanie Moore

Senior Lead Technologist

Booz Allen Hamilton

Crystal Simmons Lead Associate

Booz Allen Hamilton

Lead Associate Booz Allen Hamilton

Brandon Whittington Lead Engineer Booz Allen Hamilton

April Young, Ph.D. Senior Lead Scientist Booz Allen Hamilton

Keron Greene

Embedded Software Engineer

Boston Scientific Corporation

Nina Pehler

Principle Field Sales Engineer Boston Scientific Corporation


Hanani Wade Managing Director Chirality Capital Consulting

Solomon Abraha, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist

Corning Incorporated

Sterling Clarke Senior Controls Engineer Corning Incorporated

Benedict Egboiyi Senior Development Engineer

Corning Incorporated

Taheisha Joyce

Senior Research Technician

Corning Research and Development Corporation

F Mesgana Asmelash

ADAS Verification & Validation Engineer


BranDee Tatum Maintenance Area Supervisor FCA US LLC

Jasmine Tompkins Value Optimization Lead FCA US LLC

Shelby Avery Zone Manager Ford Motor Company

Brandon Johnson Product Development Data Analytics Engagement Leader Ford Motor Company

Fatima Kebe Industrial Engineer Ford Motor Company

Joseph Petit-Homme

Core Product/HLM Engineer Ford Motor Company

L’Nard Tufts Product Engineering Designer Ford Motor Company

G Gabriel Hall Senior Engineer General Dynamics Electric Boat

54 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com

Tarrell Rankin

Senior Electrical Engineer

General Dynamics Electric Boat

Rachel Henry

Flight Test Engineer

General Dynamics Gulfstream

Justin Miles

Quality Engineer II General Dynamics Gulfstream

Paul Alex Information System Security Engineer

General Dynamics Information Technology

Zohaib Anjum

Senior Software Engineer General Dynamics Information Technology

Vincent Bond

Senior Principal Engineer, Systems General Dynamics Information Technology

Michelle Bullock

Senior Information Security Manager General Dynamics Information Technology

Jake Clay

Principal Engineer

General Dynamics Information Technology

Amber Dolberry

Principal Network Engineer General Dynamics Information Technology

Nathaniel Fuller

Senior Principal Engineer General Dynamics Information Technology

Deon Gee

Systems Architect/Developer General Dynamics Information Technology

Alfred (Al) Knight Jr.

Senior Software Engineer

General Dynamics Information Technology

Laurie Preston Information Security Analyst General Dynamics Information Technology

Robert Smith

Senior Principal Program Analyst General Dynamics Information Technology

Kelvin Spencer Principal Software Engineer General Dynamics Information Technology

Travaris Washington

Senior Systems Administrator General Dynamics Information Technology

Carla Carter

Advanced Systems Engineer

General Dynamics Mission Systems

Sara Ali

Manufacturing Planning Administrator

General Motors

Shanda Brooks

Senior Development Manager General Motors

Chrystal Caldwell

Master Process Document Supervisor General Motors

Albert Collins

Body Shop Industrial Engineer

General Motors

Tierney Daniels

Process Engineer

General Motors

Anthony Davis

Global Architecture Lead General Motors

Patrcia Farley Quality Manager General Motors

Cheryl Greer

Engineering Business Manager General Motors

Toya Jackson

Director Manufacturing Engineering General Motors

McKinley James

General Assembly Area Manager

General Motors

Samwel Machiri

Industrial Engineer General Motors

Kareem Maine

Assistant Plant Manager General Motors

Wendy McCluney

Superintendent Progressive Presses General Motors

Claudean McCroskey Program Manager, Global Connected Customer General Motors

Deba Ohuoba

Manufacturing Engineering IT Team Lead General Motors

Leigh Parrott

Program Quality Manager General Motors

Sean Slade

Resident Product Engineer General Motors

Sonya Vento Middleware Engineer General Motors

Holly Wendt

Transformational Contact Center Manager General Motors

Terriance Woodard

IT Solutions Architect, Global Propulsion Solutions

General Motors

Omar Almejo Material Analyst

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Edgar Amador

Quality Leader Supervisor Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Elga Arguelles

Design Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Christopher Booth Project Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Christian Caballero

Quality Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Everardo Castañeda Operations Manager Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Anette Celaya

Electrical Design Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Erica Cervantes

Manufacturing Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Ricardo Curiel

Materials Planning Specialist Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Andries de Jager

Technical Specialist III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Johana Duran Operations Leader Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Ana Espinoza Operations Leader Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Miguel Fisher

Operations Leader Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Marcos Flores ME Planning Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Rocio Franco

Electrical Design Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Laura Gonzalez Import Export Leader Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Juan Gradilla Operations Leader Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Gabriela Gutierrez Materials Planning Leader Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Bibiana Hernandez Materials and Processes Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Efrain Huape

Manufacturing Technologies Manager Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Alba Juarez

Maintenance Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Jose Rafael Llanes

Design Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Elizabeth Lopez

Structures MRB Engineer Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation


55 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com

Everardo Lopez

Maintenance Leader

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Mario Maciel

Manufacturing Technologies Leader

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Martha Marquez

Maintenance Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Ulises Martinez Operations Leader

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Laura Mascareño

ME Planner III

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Israel Moreno Quality Engineer Level III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Carmen Muller Planning Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Leopoldo Nava

Manufacturing Technologies Leader Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Marco Ochoa

Tooling Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Silvestre Ontiveros

Maintenance Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Daniela Ortiz

CNC Programming Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Mayra Ortiz

Production Control Leader

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Adriana Parada ME Planning III

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Nayely Perez ME II

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Maria Ramirez ME Planning III

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Paulina Rios

Planning Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Yuliana Rodriguez

ME Planner III

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Jaime Ruelas

Manufacturing Engineer III

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Angel Sanchez Operations Leader

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

John Schober

Technical Specialist III Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Rogelio Vazquez

Electrical Design Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Cynthia Yepiz Quality Engineer

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Rufus Young III Project Engineer II Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation


Roclun Barber

Engineer Test Operations 1 Huntington Ingalls Industries

David Elliott Jr.

Electrical Engineer 4

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Eddie Ireland

Electrical Engineer 3 Huntington Ingalls Industries

Ashlei Owens

IT Systems Engineer II Huntington Ingalls Industries

Ronald Ryes Jr.

Electrical Engineer 3 Huntington Ingalls Industries

Ernestine Thompson Engineering Manager 2 Huntington Ingalls Industries

Dominique Wilson Electrical Engineer

Huntington Ingalls Industries


Derek Jean-Baptiste

Managing Director, Machine Learning Engineering, Corporate Technology

JP Morgan Chase & Co.


Scott Ball Network Administrator Leidos

George Boone Unified Communications


Clayton Crosby Program Manager Leidos

Engineering Manager

Merinda Elliott-James Software Quality Engineer Leidos

Quana Frost

Security Engineering Team Capability Lead / Scrum Master Leidos

LaCresha Nelson

IT Program Associate Manager Leidos

Lynda Vidot

Lead Business Analyst Leidos

Tedena Wheeler Business Manager Leidos

Vonda Williams Cyber Security Engineer Leidos

Anthony Banks, Ph.D.

Lockheed Martin Fellow - Lead Corporate Ergonomist Lockheed Martin Corporation

Naomie Baptiste Program Management Sr. Subcontract Manager Lockheed Martin Corporation

Jeremy Brown Senior Systems Engineer Lockheed Martin Corporation

Kasey Buggs

QA Engineering Associate Manager

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Aaron Daniels Senior Design Engineer Lockheed Martin Corporation

Brandon Francis Systems Integration and Test Engineering Staff Lockheed Martin Corporation

Amsalu Gedamu System Integration and Test Engineer Senior Lockheed Martin Corporation

Demetria Hall

Hardware Engineer Staff Lockheed Martin Corporation

Tiffany Haskins

Environment, Health & Safety Engineering Associate Manager Lockheed Martin Corporation

Safeyah Hassman Manager, F-35 Air Systems Integration- Technical Solutions Lockheed Martin Corporation

Donnell Jordan Systems Engineering Manager Lockheed Martin Corporation

Michon Jordan Software Engineer Staff Lockheed Martin Corporation

Tabetha Keys Materials and Process Engineer Lockheed Martin Corporation

Charles Ladday Systems Engineer Lockheed Martin Corporation

Dafina Monsanto Electrical Engineering Associate Manager Lockheed Martin Corporation

Gregory Sanders

Chief of Flight Test, 53K Lockheed Martin Corporation

Courtney Smith Systems Engineer

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Tonesha Smith Systems Engineer Associate Manager Lockheed Martin Corporation

57 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com


Dwaine Wint

Senior Project Engineer

Lockheed Martin Corporation


Marcus Johnson, Ph.D.

Deputy Project Manager

NASA Ames Research Center

Howard Conyers, Ph.D.

AST, Structural Dynamics

NASA John C. Stennis Space Center

Kyle Anderson

Hydraulic Fluid Systems Integration Team Lead (SIT)

Naval Sea Systems Command

Theotis Williams

Director, Air Vehicle/Rotary Wing/Drivetrain Division

Naval Support Systems Command (NAVSUP) WSS

Reginald Brown

Combat Systems Test & Evaluation Branch Manager

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

Willie Crank


Naval Surface Warfare Center

Laurent Simon, Ph.D.

Vice Provost - Undergraduate Studies New Jersey Institute of Technology

Lonnie Gonsalves, Ph.D. Environmental Scientist/Portfolio Manager

NOAA’s National Ocean Service

Michelle Hawkins, Ph.D.

Severe, Fire, Public, and Winter Weather Services Branch Chief

NOAA’s National Weather Service

Terence Lynch, Ph.D. Management and Program Analyst

NOAA’s National Ocean Service

John Moore


NOAA’s National Weather Service

Warrick Moran

IT Specialist/Software Engineer/Project Manager

NOAA’s National Weather Service

Reginald Ready

Senior Duty Meteorologist

NOAA’s National Weather Service

Akeem Anthony

Software Development Analyst

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Andrew Barnes

Software Development Manager

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Brad Douglas

Classified IT Manager

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Malika Grayson, Ph.D.

Future Technical Leader - Systems Engineer

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Robert Jones

Mechanical Engineer

Northrop Grumman Corporation

Anwar Kittrell

Systems Engineer

Northrop Grumman Corporation



Senior Principal Business Process Analyst Northrop Grumman Corporation

Julian Purvis

Senior Solutions Architect Northrop Grumman Corporation

Teddy Sedalor

Structural Engineer Northrop Grumman Corporation

Raven Sims Cyber Architect Northrop Grumman Corporation

Michael Tillman

Classified IT Manager Northrop Grumman Corporation

Melanie Tolbert Systems Engineer II Northrop Grumman Corporation

Kenneth Venzant Optical Engineer Northrop Grumman Corporation

Matthew Colavita

Mechanical Engineer NUWC Division Newport

Jeffrey Feaster Deputy Head, Sensors and Sonar Systems Department NUWC Division Newport

David Rhodes Software Engineer NUWC Division Newport


Tayo Adedokun

Senior Systems Engineer II Raytheon Company

Felicia Daniel Manager III Engineering Raytheon Company

Corey Dyson Software Engineer II Raytheon Company

Guia Ellerby

Principal Systems Engineer Raytheon Company

Ogechi Ibe

Senior Systems Engineer Raytheon Company

Jerome Moore

Senior Systems Engineer II Raytheon Company

Brittany Person Program Engineer Raytheon Company

Claudeliah Roze

Senior Systems Engineer II Raytheon Company

Mark Smith

Senior Principal Systems Engineer

Raytheon Company


Parfait Agbobli

Senior Cloud Computing Engineer


Newton Campbell Jr.

Senior Principal Solutions Architect


Geataeus Willocks

Radiofrequency Systems Engineer


Quincy Johnson

Research & Development Scientist & Engineer, Product Engineer

Sandia National Laboratories

Ibrahim Suberu

ADNS Shore Network Systems Engineering

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific)


Lawrence Cotton

Analog Design Manager

Texas Instruments

Arthur Nesty

Product Engineer

Texas Instruments

Jerthwin Prospere Product Engineer Manager Texas Instruments

Darin McNeal

Senior Project Engineer

The Aerospace Corporation

Chibueze Ogamba Engineering Manager The Aerospace Corporation

Craig Smith

Senior Project Engineer

The Aerospace Corporation

Derek Anderson

Chief Engineer, Logistics Products and Services

The Boeing Company

Terrence Chance

Finance Controller to the Office of the Chief Information Officer

The Boeing Company

Michael Davis

Material Process & Physics Chemical Engineer

The Boeing Company

Gabriel Dotson

Electromagnetics Effects Engineer

The Boeing Company

Phillip Fontenot

Operations Manager, Executive Transport and Services

The Boeing Company

Jeffrey Gabeau

Lead Mechanical System Design & Analysis Engineer

The Boeing Company

58 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com

Tyra Gilyard

Director, F-15 Mission Systems; Strike, Surveillance & Mobility

The Boeing Company

Tamika Grandy

Chief of Staff, IT Engineering Systems

The Boeing Company

Jeffrey Hutchinson

Air Safety Investigator

The Boeing Company

Uche Iheadindu Software Engineering Manager The Boeing Company

Clarissa Jones

Senior Manager, Training & Professional Services, Modifications and Conversions

The Boeing Company

Samuel Ndaro

Manager, Defense Modification and Sustainment Engineering

The Boeing Company

Sofia Negash Government Contracts Manager

The Boeing Company

Seyi Onagoruwa

Senior Manager, Propulsion Engines and Auxiliary Power Unit Team

The Boeing Company

Azzreal Pugh Chemical Engineer

The Boeing Company

Kevin Raife Network Wireless Architect The Boeing Company

Dujuan Sevillian, Ph.D. Human Factors Systems Engineer-Scientist

The Boeing Company

Keleghai “Kiki” Tatah Mentan Product Review Engineer

The Boeing Company

James Thomas Manager, Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) Ground Systems

The Boeing Company

Troy Thompson

Product Manager, Boeing Global Services Engineering Modifications and Maintenance Interiors

The Boeing Company

Brandon Tyson

Project Manger and Team Lead, Global IT Service Desk

The Boeing Company

Kira Van Niel

Program Manager, Global Engineering and External Technical Affiliations

The Boeing Company

Lincoln Williams

Senior Manager, Supply Chain Systems

The Boeing Company

Saam Ahmadi Group Leader

The MITRE Corporation

Nadya Huleatt

Senior Communications Engineer

The MITRE Corporation

Luz Mahecha-Martinez

Senior Health, Social and Behavioral Scientist The MITRE Corporation

Joseph Patrick Portfolio Manager

The MITRE Corporation


Theron Brower Jr.

Program Manager, Identification at Range Integrated Sensor (IRIS) U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Jason McDowell

Construction Engineering Technician / Survey and Design Cell Officer-in-Charge United States Army

Elizabeth Moton

Executive Officer United States Army Eric Nelson Command Inspector General United States Army Chatom Warren Executive Officer United States Army


Igetei Engineer

U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Jordon Davis

Deputy Commander U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Brittany Kendrick Civil Engineer U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Askelon Parker


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Bradford Steed Supervisory Research Civil Engineer U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Sarah Sullivan

Sexual Assault Response Coordinator U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

French Pope Operations Officer U.S. Army Prime Power School

Allice Gholson LT - Civil Engineer U.S. Coast Guard

Marvis Randy Joseph

Readiness and Emergency Management Flight Commander United States Air Force

Dmitri Mitchell F-15E Fighter Pilot United States Air Force

Jack Rhodes III

Deputy PM, Military GPS User Equipment Inc 1 United States Air Force

Gerve’ Tillman

Weather System Follow-on Systems Engineer United States Air Force

Demarcus Barrow

Vertical Engineer Platoon Sergeant United States Army

Ephraim Y. Befecadu

Technical Chief and Lead System Engineer United States Army

Zinnah Hellman Chief, Military Construction Branch United States Army

Windsor L. Jones Chief Evaluator Modeling and Simulation United States Army

Henry Williams III Technical Engineer NCO United States Army

Augustus Wright

125D Geospatial Training Developer United States Army Engineer School

Morris Hampton Sr. Reactor Mechanical Assistant United States Navy

Andreas Jackson

Reactor Controls Division Officer United States Navy Sarah Smith Reactor Training Assistant United States Navy


Samuel Ivy, Ph.D. Director and Assistant Professor West Point/United States Military Academy

Joanne Charlene Buenaventura Developer World Wide Technology

Randolph Francis Senior Cyber Security Engineer World Wide Technology

Jeffrey Fu

Sales Data Services Team Lead World Wide Technology

Arnell Hammond Program Manager World Wide Technology

Aaron Jackson Consultant, Business and Analytics Advisors World Wide Technology

Harry Kabbay

Senior Database Administrator World Wide Technology

William McCoy Voice Engineer World Wide Technology

Timothy Robinson

Technical Solutions Architect, Security World Wide Technology

Shuanita Tyler

Information Security Policy and Compliance Team Lead World Wide Technology

59 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com

Rotary & Mission Systems

2019 Linda Gooden Legacy Award

2019 Dave Barclay Affirmative Action Award

Leaders in Innovation.

We are honored to recognize our winners at the 33rd Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards. The men and women of Lockheed Martin commend you for your achievements and thank you for your dedication to excellence and innovation.

Learn more at lockheedmartin.com/diversity

Cory Weathers Systems Engineer Senior Staff Vernecia Johnson Director, Human Resources Business Partner Aeronautics
© 2018 Lockheed Martin Corporation VC18-24406
Anthony Banks Tabetha Keys Tonesha Smith Antoine Toombs Raymond Findlater II Naomie Baptiste Amsalu Gedamu Dwaine Wint Anthony Wright Vance Foster Yolanda Carr Jeremy Brown Demetria Hall Ollie Johnson Kasey Buggs Tiffany Haskins Dafina Monsanto Michon Jordan Aaron Daniels Safeyah Hassman Gregory Sanders Trindell Major Brandon Francis Donnell Jordan Courtney Smith Dazzree Thomas Jarred Cranshaw Mustapha Cham Charles Ladday
Science Spectrum Trailblazers:
Modern Day Technology Leaders:


Legendary inventors who attended HBCUs include Granville Woods, Lewis Latimer, and Shelby Davidson. No doubt about it, HBCUs are incubators for extraordinary research and product development.

A 2014 report, which details an IP review at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tells the story of patents at Black colleges and how they have evolved over the years.

According to IPWatchdog.com, between 1969 and 2012, HBCUs received scores of utility patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in energy, advanced manufacturing technology, nanotechnology, and breast cancer treatment.

HBCU patents have increased exponentially, the IP website says.

Since 2002, 58 patent applications have been filed by Florida A&M University alone. Other HBCUs are doing groundbreaking research in alternative fuel technologies, treatments for prostate cancer, and hypoallergenic peanuts.

“By no means an exhaustive list of patent and research activities at historically Black colleges and universities,” the IP report noted. “Much more can be expected moving forward.”

In February 2018, 10 HBCU researchers received Innovation Awards at US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine’s inaugural Leading Voices event at the 32nd Annual BEYA STEM Conference.

“The 2018 HBCU Innovation Award validates my commitment to the discovery process

as a measure of ‘staying relevant,’” Dr. Kevin Kornegay said. “Innovative ideas can grow existing fields or cause a market leader to become obsolete.”

Dr. Kornegay’s team at Morgan State University is using reverse engineering techniques to unveil hardware security gaps that may be present in an Internet of Things (IoT) device and develop countermeasures to prevent access of confidential information and ensure functional operation during a cyberattack.

Dr. Kornegay’s IoT research aims to make devices we have come to depend upon, as well as new technology, safer when it comes to transferring data over a network.

Bi-Dar (Peter) Wang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, is a pioneer in the field of cancer genomics and prostate cancer disparities. He and his colleagues from George Washington University and Duke University developed aberrant mRNA splice variants as novel diagnostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets. This invention was granted a U.S. patent.

Award-winning food scientist Dr. Shengmin Sang has patented compounds comprising aspirin and ginger derivatives that have shown promise for preventing cancer. He studies bioactive compounds in tea, apples, rosemary, and other foods.

“It was my great honor to be the recipient of the 2018 BEYA Innovation Award,” Dr. Sang told USBE Online. “I was also invited to give a talk about my inventions of novel aspirin derivatives for colorectal cancer prevention at ‘An Evening with BEYA Leading Voices.’

“What impressed me the most is the hotel bellman introduced himself to me the next morning. He asked me when my novel aspirin derivatives will be available on the market. He had started to develop gastrointestinal complications (a typical side effect from aspirin intake) even after taking baby aspirin (85 mg dose) for three to four years. At that moment, I started to realize the importance of my inventions and to feel the pressure to move my discoveries forward to benefit millions of patients who are regularly taking aspirin,” Sang said.

Dr. Abdollah Homaifar is director of the Autonomous Control and Information Technology Center (ACIT), also at North Carolina A&T. The ACIT Center enhances undergraduate and graduate student involvement in research for the benefit of the national economy. The areas of concentration for the ACIT Center include artificial intelligence, renewable energy systems, genetic algorithms, machine learning, and robotics.

Dr. Grant Warner directs the Howard University-Hampton University I-Corps, which commercializes research from HBCUs in the District-Maryland-Virginia area. He has trained and advised more than 200 faculty and student teams in venture formation.

“It was an honor to be recognized with the 2018 HBCU Innovation Award at BEYA. The event provided the opportunity to network with other innovators and discuss how we can expand the innovation ecosystem,” said Dr. Warner. “That ecosystem involves government, industry, academia, and creative talent. HBCUs are uniquely positioned to bring together all those stakeholders.”

62 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com


Joann Powell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Clark Atlanta University

Dinadayalane Tandabany, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Clark Atlanta University

Talitha Washington, Ph.D.

Associate Professor / NSF Program Director Howard University

Viji Sitther, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology Morgan State University

Associate Professor

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Lara Thompson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering

University of the District of Columbia

Yaunwei Jin, Ph.D. Professor University of Maryland Eastern Shore

63 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
Ronnie Bailey
flickr.com/rdecom medium.com/@RDECOM CIVILIAN
http://tinyurl.com/y97dckr3 RDECOM is now the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. Be part of our global network of civilian scientists and engineers who solve the Army’s toughest technological challenges. twitter.com/rdecom youtube.com/rdecom facebook.com/usarmyrdecom instagram.com/rdecom


TRAILBLAZERS science spectrum 2019


blaze trails through uncharted areas for those coming up behind them. They are pioneers, setting standards of excellence in inclusion and diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in industry. They are educators and outstanding scientists in discovery, research, and innovation laboratories. The annual Trailblazer award recognizes personal and group achievement. Winners have had a significant impact on production, made contributions to STEM education across America, and influenced STEM policy. Some are executives who seek innovative products; some are breaking new ground midpoint in their careers. Others are early-career scientists showing amazing promise in technical fields. Regardless of where they are, they distinguish themselves by continually innovating, raising the bar higher, and opening doors for others in STEM.

66 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com


Iris Wagstaff, Ph.D.

STEM Program Director


Tina Scales

Associate Director HR Technology


Yul Williams, Ph.D. Technical Director for Sensor and Data Operations

Department of Defense

Ayanna Jackson, Ph.D. Analytical Technical Leader

Dow AgroSciences

Sonya Bentley

Electrical Electronics Systems Engineering Core


Ford Motor Company

Dante Crockett

Global PD Quality Manager (Executive)—Electrical & Connectivity

Ford Motor Company

Victoria Hills Instrument Panel and Console Quality Engineer

Ford Motor Company

Kwaku Prakah-Asante, Ph.D. Technical Specialist

Ford Motor Company

Mark Berry, Ph.D.

Vice President of Environmental & Natural Resources

Georgia Power

Yolanda Carr

Senior Aviation Safety Official

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Mustapha Cham Systems Engineer Staff

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Jarred Cranshaw Systems Engineer

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Raymond Findlater II Software Quality Engineer Staff

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Vance Foster Systems Engineer

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Ollie Johnson Systems Engineer Senior

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Trindell Major Software Engineer Senior Staff

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Dazzree Thomas

Diversity & Inclusion Senior Analyst

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Antoine Toombs

Project Management & Planning Operations

Representative Senior

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Anthony Wright Systems & Software Quality Engineer Staff

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Grace Johnson

Deputy Division Chief, Academic Engagement


Kenneth Freeman

Cyber Security Ops Program Executive

NASA Ames Research Center

Kevin Jones

Computer Engineer

NASA Ames Research Center

Carol Tolbert

Aerospace Technologist/Engineering Project Management

NASA Glenn Research Center

Willie Crank


Naval Surface Warfare Center

David Billingslea

Electronics Engineer

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

Kendrick Spencer

Cybersecurity Lead

NUWC Division Newport

Alice Jackson

Senior Systems Engineer II

Raytheon Company

Abolade Adepiti

Nuclear Weapons Survivability and Policy Analyst


Henry Garrison Jr.

Instructor/Curriculum Developer


Curtis Harris

Senior Site Support - End User Specialist


Marlvis Kennedy Systems Engineer


Timothy Madison Program Manager


Winston Moses Program Manager


William Perry

Senior Mobile Device Management Support


Curtis Porter Sr. Site Support


Charles Williamson

Senior Systems Engineer/Acquisition Manager


Michael Wills

System Administrator


Olivia Underwood Ph.D.

Principle Member of Technical Staff - Mechanical Engineer PRT Lead

Sandia National Laboratories

Delores Alexander

Vice President, Indirect Supply Chain

Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Operations

The Boeing Company

Howard McKenzie

Vice President and Chief Project Engineer, 777 Program Boeing Commercial Airplanes

The Boeing Company

Kevin Mixon

Mission Systems Capability Manager Strike, Surveillance, and Mobility Engineering

The Boeing Company

Candice Smith

Deputy Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering Capabilities EMM Boeing Global Services

The Boeing Company

Jovonia Taylor

767 Chief Program Engineer

The Boeing Company

Otis Alexander

Lead Cyber Security Engineer

The MITRE Corporation

Raju Iyer, Ph.D.

Principal Systems Engineer

The MITRE Corporation

Darla Sligh Infrastructure Engineer, Lead

The MITRE Corporation

Cecily Agu

Delta IV Propulsion Engineer

United States Air Force

Xavier Harris Chemistry Instructor

United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School

67 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com

It does take rocket scientists

And metallurgists, mathematicians, computer scientists, aeronautical engineers, industrial engineers, system analysts and more. As a global technology company, we are always in search for top talent with opportunity to hire the best people around. ALL IN. CREATING AN EXTRAORDINARY FUTURE. To stay connected to UTC, text UTCBEYA to 860-215-8668.
is required for most positions. The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion, genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. aerospace.org/careers Explore. Learn. Apply. The Aerospace Corporation is proud to support the 2019 BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference. We congratulate our team members: James Northern, Darin McNeal, Chibueze Ogamba, Craig Smith and all of this year’s award winners. RIGHT PLACE. RIGHT PATH. RIGHT PURPOSE.

US Black Engineer & Information Technology (USBE&IT) magazine launched the maiden issue of Leading Voices (LV) in the fall of 2017. Broken up into three or four columns written by inventors, entrepreneurs, and STEM policymakers, the section spotlights the 14 challenges outlined by the National Academy of Engineering, and disruptors such as artificial intelligence and bioengineering. During its first year, LV has provided perspectives on smart cities, building a weather-ready nation, and where AI is in your future. An auspicious start for one of USBE magazine’s newest sections. Leading Voices is available in print and online at www.blackengineer.com

Engineering Grand Challenges

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering of the United States met to discuss the grand challenges for engineering in the 21st century. During those meetings, 14 issues were identified. Grand challenges are BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) and are some of the most difficult problems to solve. Solutions to these challenges will have tremendous benefits for global society because they are fundamental to the quality of life around the world. It is essential for people of color to understand what these challenges are, as each community will

Los Angeles water wars of the early 1900s. The crisis in Flint, MI exemplifies the challenges of water contamination that affect many communities in the country.

How do we deal with the global water crisis? Can we make desalination plants more cost-effective? Can we provide filtration systems to reclaim contaminated water around the world? Though these questions are technical, they are also political and cultural, and the issues span across disciplines such as business and public policy. At their core, however, they are engineering problems.

In 2013, the National Academy of Engineering met in London with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Chinese National Academy of Engineering. The three-day meeting involved discussions regarding the 14 grand challenges. A similar meeting was held in 2015 in Beijing. The third meeting was held in 2017 in Washington, D.C. All these meetings provided a forum for presentations on the status of the 14 grand challenges.

experience problems differently. Specific issues may be more important for one city or less for another.

Leading Voices

Contributing Editors

One of the grand challenges is to provide access to clean water. Though water type and condition vary around the world, access to clean water is a challenge for all. Earth is mostly made of water, but most of that water has a high salt content and is not drinkable. Freshwater, or potable water, is in short supply, and is getting lower. The limited amount of fresh water is becoming so much of a problem that books have been written about wars for clean water. True to these writings, I have had discussions with visiting scholars from Uganda who’ve spoken about rising tensions over access to the water originating from Lake Victoria. In places like Saudi Arabia, the challenge is devising a way to desalinate water cheaply.

In the United States, water and politics have gone hand in hand for a long time. The history of Los Angeles is tied to the city aqueduct built by William Mulholland (the Irish-born civil engineer) and immortalized in the Roman Polanski movie Chinatown, loosely based on the

Motivated by the National Academies of Engineering, the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) was started. More than 40 engineering schools have implemented this program. The GCSP is a program with five competencies that are designed to prepare the next generation of students for addressing the grand challenges. The students can think innovatively about ways to address these challenges that will shape the world in the future.

Engineers dedicate themselves to solving problems, and I firmly believe that there is nothing more attractive to a passionate engineer than being able to make a significant contribution to a problem that is critical to the world.

To find out more about these grand challenges, the National Association of Engineering’s website provides some intriguing and informational summaries in extremely easy-to-understand language. Visit www.engineeringchallenges.org to stay abreast of the conversations and innovation that will address and solve these global challenges.

70 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
Dr. Michael Spencer, Dean, School of Engineering, Morgan State University
How do we deal with the global water crisis? Can we make desalination plants more cost-effective?

Leading Voices

Following the Money: A Strategy for HBCUs to Increase Their Revenue

Traditionally speaking, many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including Alabama A&M, have relied on tuition as a primary means of generating revenue. However, a large percentage of students—I dare say 80 percent or more—require some sort of financial aid to pay for tuition. So not only are our institutions dependent on paying students, but we are also dependent on the federal government or other types of financial aid that support these students. There are other streams, such as athletics and community involvement, but those vary greatly based on variables such as location, school size, and alumni engagement.

Grants are another traditional revenue stream that many HBCUs rely on. Sadly, this stream is shrinking drastically and becoming increasingly competitive. Funding for grants has become contingent on increasingly stringent questions regarding outcomes and extremely specific ROI requirements, causing many government entities to find other places to spend budgeted dollars. At the state level, particularly with HBCUs that happen to be in southern states, many schools are being scrutinized to see if budgets could be used in more collective formats. This has caused some regulators to consider pushing HBCUs to consolidate under a broader state system. This would be detrimental to the mission of any HBCU.

We at Alabama A&M decided to seek additional revenue streams by focusing on receiving contracts with federal government entities. Though ours are primarily R&D-focused contracts, there are so many avenues and opportunities to increase institutional revenue this way. Take, for example, the Department of Defense, which spends over $47 billion each year on contracts awarded to businesses, medical organizations, academic institutions, etc. Or, consider NASA, a company that primarily does work through contracts. NASA has a stated goal of using 1 percent of its $19

billion annual budget to go to HBCUs and minority-serving institutions. One percent may sound small, but that’s $190 million a year that it sets aside.

However, NASA rarely, if ever, meets this goal. In fact, there’s a significant amount of money left on the table each year. Why? A primary reason is a lack of knowledge and information. Many HBCUs are not informed or equipped to go after dollars on the contract side. There are different procurement regulations and procedures involved in the contract arena that many

The benefit for HBCUs is that most government contracts have either small business, HBCU, or other status requirements that include veterans, women, minorities, or the like.

institutions are not aware of. Another reason is tradition, which can be a gift and a curse. Some institutions have always gone after grants. It’s the resource they’re used to, so that’s all they go after. But acquiring new revenue resources requires obtaining new knowledge, and that’s what we decided to do at Alabama A&M.

Realizing that our focus on STEM affords us a connection to contract resources as well as industry partnerships, we elected to create a new operation to foster new revenue and resources as a result. We call it the AAMU Research, Innovation, Science and Engineering (RISE) Foundation. AAMU RISE is a separate 501(c)(3) organization that is wholly owned by the university, but strategically and specifically set to procure R&D contracts. We followed the footsteps of several successful models that pioneered this direction: the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Johns

Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Penn State’s Applied Research Lab, and Stanford Research Institute (SRI), to name a few. I was asked to forge and form our operation at Alabama A&M in 2014, and we officially launched in January 2015. Since then we have received numerous contracts and subcontracts and have successfully developed (and continue to grow) our revenue stream from contracts.

The benefit for HBCUs is that most government contracts have either small business, HBCU, or other status requirements that include veterans, women, minorities, or the like. It can be beneficial for industry partners to have organizations with their demographics on their teams. Companies know that having us on their team improves their probability of winning a contract proposal. Our institution falls in most of those designations, and we have acquired several mutually beneficial contracts because of our status. This, in turn, creates more opportunities for everyone involved.

We’ve taken the concept a step further and started partnering with other HBCUs to collaborate with them on some of the contracts and proposals we have already established. It has allowed us to leverage the broader resources and capabilities that are at these other institutions. This helps strengthen our collective impression and appearance to both industry and government entities, which I think is very important.

These are some of the things we’re doing at Alabama A&M to tap into a revenue stream that isn’t utilized as much as I believe it should be. While I’m not at liberty to quote specific numbers, I can confidently say that AAMU RISE has added significant positive imprints to our university’s overall research awards and expenditures. It has also positively impacted indirect costs that have helped to strengthen the bottom line of the university and the foundation. I have every confidence that it can do the same at other HBCUs across the nation. S

71 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
Dr. Chance Glenn, Dean, College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences, Alabama A&M

Leading Voices

Collective Impact: How Nonprofits Can (and Should) Serve as Catalysts for Transformative Social Change

Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in the maintenance of a healthy community. They have the all-important task of being the catalysts of a concept the Stanford Social Innovation Review has coined as “collective impact.” Far more than a collaborative effort, collective impact, or the intentional commitment of a group of key change agents to solve a specific social problem, involves a strategic agenda. Further, it incorporates determined staff, a centralized infrastructure, and an agreed-upon process that is understood and shared by all entities involved. On the surface and at its core, collective impact sounds like the definition, motivation, and mission of what nonprofits are—or, at least what they should be.

What has been proven over time is that nonprofits, generally speaking, do not operate this way. Most choose to operate in their silos serving their target demographic, focusing solely on growing programs and influence within their target demographic. Many nonprofits admittedly do not contribute to broad, systemic, transformative change. Why? The task is virtually impossible for one organization to do by itself.

In order to effect systemic, transformative social change, nonprofits have to be able to mobilize all sectors of society, including government, business, public, and other nonprofit organizations. Put plainly, systemic change requires participation from all of the players in a community. The impact of the change can then be determined by how the collective mobilizes its forces, who they sit at the table, and how those key players communicate. The only impact partners that can catalyze and effectively implement change are the nonprofit organizations, and there’s a simple reason why.

The majority of nonprofits share a common thread throughout their missions: a goal of helping others. Whether the mission is eradicating poverty, spreading arts and humanities, increasing economic mobility, closing

the achievement gap, eliminating the effects of discrimination and racism, or promoting social justice, the ultimate goal is to create a better society. To create systemic change and bring all of the sectors together, the intermediary role must be led by an entity that has altruistic objectives.

Because of the shareholders’ goal to increase financial opportunities, often by any means necessary, the business community cannot lead the charge. And, because the government sector typically relents to granting the most power to those legislators who provide the greatest economic benefit, it cannot lead the collective with motivations dictated by power.

Therefore, it is the nonprofit sector, the one solely motivated by bringing about positive change for everyone in society, that must take and assume its rightful responsibility within a community of transformative change agents.

There are two ways to go about creating solutions to effect change in social and economic contexts. One way, which is the way most nonprofits operate today, is to provide point solutions for any one of the aforementioned socio-cultural missions.

The other way is to look at problems holistically and bring together groups of organizations that have point solutions.

The difference is, when you bring all point solutions together and affect all points of the spectrum simultaneously, the community can experience transformative change, not incremental change.

This method inevitably makes change and solutions manifest much quicker, and transformative change becomes more sustainable for longer periods of time. Plus, the impacts are broader and affect larger segments of a population at the same time. As groups come together over time, redundancies will become more apparent and clearer, and organizations will begin to minimize service overlaps. This will allow consolidation mergers to happen with organizations that serve the

same or similar target demographics and use similar approaches.

That may not sound like a good thing for nonprofit businesses, but it is. Philanthropists and foundations today look to widen and broaden their impact by contributing to nonprofits that demonstrate their ability and willingness to work collectively versus working in silos. Those organizations that will catch these philanthropists’ eyes will be able to exemplify forward-looking approaches to their work and show they are more focused on the mission of their work, and not just the survival of their organization. This is where many nonprofits today fail. They find early success and then attempt to grow beyond their original mission. They try to become systemic change agents by themselves. If nonprofits want to prove their effectiveness, increase their efficiency, and become innovative leaders, they have to be a part of a meaningful collective at some point.

Nonprofits are looked to as society’s change agents. The evolution of the nonprofit sector requires that they collaborate more effectively, not just to create financial efficiencies or to collaborate for the sake of collaboration. In order to increase their standing as leaders in the community and fully leverage their position as intermediaries between public, political, and corporate entities, collective impact is an absolute must. The benefit to all stakeholders is transformative social change. The potentially catalyzing power that nonprofits naturally have holds a very compelling mandate: If you are altruistic to your mission as an organization, you must accept the mantle of intermediary transformative change agent. S

72 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com


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Careers of the Future

USBE magazine’s Career Outlook section is designed to tell you where the jobs are, why you want them, and how you can get them. In this issue, we look at the field of engineering. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of architecture and engineering occupations is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026. That’s about 194,300 jobs. Career Outlook will tell you everything you need to secure one of them.


77 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
The Engineering Industry: Everything You Need to Know About Engineering Careers Jobs in the Engineering Industry: Engineer Your Path to Success
78 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com CAREER OUTLOOK » Industry Overview DRAFT YOUR PLAN Everything You Need to Know about Engineering Careers


According to Meghan Brown at engineering.com, entry-level engineering positions, especially mechanical ones, diverge among engineering services, machinery manufacturing, computer product manufacturing, and research and development. Novice engineers are offered the opportunity to explore options and discover their area of interest. This allows new engineers to gain experience and decide if they’ll advance into a more technical niche or the path to management. As a new engineer, you’ll provide support and new insights as senior engineers attempt to bring projects to completion.

In terms of compensation, engineering careers tend to be lucrative—which is great news for college grads seeking employment. Forbes.com lists the toppaying jobs obtained with a bachelor’s degree—all five are engineering positions: petroleum engineering, systems engineering, chemical engineering, computer science and engineering, and nuclear engineering. Business Insider listed 22 (yes, 22!) engineering positions that pay more than $110,000—which is the median salary for all engineering jobs. The top five are:

• Consumer-electronics engineer: $161,250

• Communications technology engineer: $151,203

• Engineering manager: $150,000

• Professor of engineering: $149,000

• Cybernetics/artificial-intelligence engineer: $147,707

So, what will the industry look like in five

to 10 years? There are a few distinct, major trends in engineering that give us a glimpse into the future of the field. According to Kelly Services, industrial optimization will continue to drive the need for engineering in many key industrial processes, such as production, supply chain, product design, and predictability. For engineers in energy and production-related institutions,

be aware of. Increased productivity and accuracy of automated processes is making certain positions more competitive, such as instrumentation and control technicians and industrial control systems designers.

Additive manufacturing is another area where job seekers should build an awareness and skillset. 3D printing is quickly becoming a common production application, with notable use in many key industries such as defense, medical device, and automotive. Having a background in 3D printing can give a new college grad an advantage when seeking employment in a production-based engineering firm.

Shifts in employment styles also represent shifting trends in the future of engineering, with a free agent-style marketplace increasing the demand for engineering consultants and consulting firms. This style of piecemeal project work also helps to open up more collaboration across firms, industries, and individual engineers. These innovations will continue to drive processes and workflows that will need new engineers to be successful.

sustainability will command a lot of attention from the workforce. The Department of Labor predicts a 9 percent increase in demand for environmental engineers by 2021.

The proliferation of automation and robotics is another major trend that current and recent college grads should

Future and recent college grads seeking employment in the engineering industry will find a wide variety of positions in a large array of fields, from designing future spacecraft to designing the wiring of an office building. With high salaries and trends that will keep demand steady, potential job candidates will be able to seek out ample job opportunities. Keeping an eye on these trends while planning and preparing for the job-seeking process will give you an advantage as you transition into an entry-level engineering position. S

79 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
Industry Overview » CAREER OUTLOOK
Having an awareness of trends in the industry now and emerging trends that predict future jobs can help you make sense of finding an entrylevel position in engineering.

Engineer Your Path to Success

With such a wide variety of employment options and lucrative positions, planning for a career in engineering is a wise choice. Are you looking to be a mechanical, civil, electrical, computer, chemical, aerospace, or nuclear engineer?

Consider some expert sources of information to help you plan ahead to maximize your candidacy within the field.

What does the future of engineering careers look like? Interestingengineering. com lists the top five engineering jobs of the future as robot programmer, sensor system integrator, algorithm designer, 3D printing specialist, and augmented or virtual reality programmer. ITcareerfinder. com lists civil engineer, environmental engineer, and biomedical engineer highly as well. Certainly for current and future college students, there is a plethora of future career paths that will utilize a background in engineering. Forbes magazine states that the most common engineering jobs—civil, mechanical, industrial, and electrical engineering— make up two-thirds of the entire American engineering workforce! With job growth in the double digits for these positions, recruiters will be looking to future graduates to fill these positions.

Where are these jobs? According to Forbes, “the most concentrated metropolitan area for engineers is Huntsville, AL—home to a NASA flight center and other aerospace and military establishments.” In fact, Huntsville has over five times more engineers per capita than the national average! In general, Forbes notes that the most common places to find engineering work are the South and Rust Belt (Detroit, Dayton, etc.) for U.S. students.

What do STEM employment options look like in this field? The following are some quick overviews of the wide variety of jobs within the engineering industry.

» An aerospace engineer designs, develops, and produces aircraft and spacecraft. They might work on macro

designs or in a more in-depth manner on one of the many complicated subsystems of the crafts.

» Civil engineers supervise and direct the construction of roads, bridges, buildings, and other utility systems. They may work in a proactive sense, such as city planning and expansion, or in a reactive sense when a natural disaster occurs and essential systems must be restored.

» Chemical engineers specialize in energy storage, chemistry-based research and development, and nanotechnology. According to educatingengineers.com, these professionals work alongside other engineers to solve humanity’s greatest problems.

» Electrical engineers work directly with electrical equipment manufacturing and systems. They design, develop, test, and oversee the use of these systems. From small tasks such as wiring and lighting installations to the largest systems within energy production plants, electrical engineers are an essential part of industry.

» Mechanical engineers use knowledge of motion, energy, and force to develop mechanical solutions to an array of problems. Using material, economic, and human resources, mechanical engineers design and build biomedical devices, appliances, motor vehicles, and other essential products.

» Nuclear engineers, according to educatingengineers.com, are the most integrated of the engineering disciplines. With many components

80 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com
» Job Horizon

to nuclear systems, both reactors and medical imaging equipment, nuclear engineers must be experts in nuclear science and also the engineering of the systems themselves.

With a myriad of career paths, how can college students select the right major and skills to learn to prepare for employment? According to tryengineering.org, when preparing for an engineering career, students should not only focus on having the technical competencies needed for their desired career path, but should also develop communication skills, leadership skills, and teamwork skills. College engineering majors should focus on a specific career path where possible, and build on prior experience in high school math courses

such as calculus and computer science. College students can also seek to enter one of many engineering societies, such as:

» American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

» American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

» American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

» American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)

» American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

» Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

» American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

» Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE)

» Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

» SAE International (SAE)

Engineering offers a plethora of employment options, significant job growth, high salaries, and challenging work. Future and current college students should seek to major in an engineering program of their interest, and to build hard and soft skills, while considering joining an engineering society. The future is bright for the engineers of tomorrow!


81 USBE & Information Technology | CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 www.blackengineer.com


MDA’s diverse workforce is an incredible asset. The unique experiences and perspectives of our team members can help us solve the technological challenges we face.

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2014 Black Engineer of the Year Stephanie C. Hill, Vice President and General Manager, Information Systems & Global Solutions Civil, Lockheed Martin; B.A. ’86, UMBC

2013 Black Engineer of the Year Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President, UMBC; M.A. ‘71, Ph.D. ‘75, Univ. of Ill., UrbanaChampaign; B.S. ‘70 Hampton Institute

Lola Eniola-Adefeso, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, Univ. of Mich.; M.S. ‘00, Ph.D. ’04, Univ. of Penn., B.S. ‘99, UMBC


, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Clemson Univ.; B.S. ’94, M.S. ’96, Ph.D. ’07, UMBC

Nationally recognized for linking excellence and diversity and increasing the number of minorities and women entering science and technology fields, UMBC creates an environment where high-achieving minority students are no exception. We are proud of our role in seeding the next generation of STEM leaders, including Naomi Mburu ’18, chemical engineering, our first Rhodes Scholar, and the many graduates who have become STEM faculty in the nation’s most distinguished universities and leaders at major companies, including:

• Delali Dzirasa, President, Fearless Solutions, LLC; B.S. ’04, UMBC

• Kafui Dzirasa, Principal investigator, Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering; Assoc. Prof., Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke Univ.; M.D. ’09, Duke Univ. School of Medicine, Ph.D. ’07, Duke Univ., B.S. ’01 UMBC

• Nwokedi C. Idika, Software Engineer, Security & Privacy, Google; Ph.D. ’10 and M.S. ’07, Purdue Univ., B.S. ’05, UMBC

• Lalana Kagal, Principal Research Scientist, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), MIT; M.S. ’02, Ph.D. ’04, UMBC

• Kyla A. McMullen, Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Science, Univ. of Fla.; Ph.D. ’12. Univ. of Mich., B.S. ’05, UMBC

• W. Lawrence Neeley, Jr., Associate Professor of Design and Entrepreneurship, Olin Coll. of Engineering; Ph.D. ’07, Stanford Univ., B.S. ’98, UMBC

• Natasha N. Powell-Howard, Clinical Instructor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; M.D., Case Western Reserve Univ., ’05, B.S. ’01, UMBC

• Joseph Towles, Lecturer of Mechanical Engineering and of Bioengineering, Stanford Univ.; Ph.D. ’03, Stanford Univ., B.S. ’96, UMBC

• Brian Wayman, Senior Project Manager, Emergent BioSolutions; Ph.D. ’07, Ga. Inst. of Tech., B.S. ’99, UMBC

GRADUATE EDUCATION gradschool.umbc.edu DIVERSE FACULTY facultydiversity.umbc.edu DIVERSE
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40% of hiring managers would hire college interns for full-time, permanent positions. According to CBcampus.com Survey Let us help you! The CCG JobMatch internship program connects and places diverse students and recent graduates with top STEM employers that offer invaluable work opportunities and experiences. If you are ready to jump-start your career, visit www.ccgjobmatch.com Career Communications Group, Inc. | 729 East Pratt St., Suite 504 | Baltimore, MD 21202 | (410) 244-7101 | www.ccgmag.com


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