Professional Life
A Shipwright and Right about STEM
By Women of Color magazine
Apr 21, 2014, 19:54

Suzanne M. Beckstoffer is an advocate for engineering education and has held a career in shipbuilding for more than 30 years.

As director of process and tools for Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, VA, she is responsible for the engineering design computer tools and processes that support ship design, construction, overhaul, and maintenance programs. These include data migration and upgrade projects to design, planning, material, 3D visualization, integrated data environments, and the company’s classified network.

Previously, she was director of technology development, leading the company’s multimillion dollar Independent Research and Development program, the Manufacturing and Production Engineering program, and the Washington Technical Office.

Beckstoffer's prior experience includes positions of increasing responsibility in aircraft carrier and submarine engineering, management, and business development. She managed the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) class aircraft carrier design/build processes, particularly the secure Integrated Data Environment and 3D Immersive Visualization programs. She was also project manager of the Automated Steel Factory.

As an advocate for engineering education, she serves on the Industry Advisory Board for Webb Institute and is immediate past chair of the North Carolina State Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department Industry Advisory Board. She also recently joined the Christopher Newport University Physics, Computer Science and Engineering Advisory Board.

In 2011, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), an 8,000-member professional organization. Beckstoffer has held various positions in SNAME, including Hampton Roads section chair, Atlantic South Regional vice president, and vice president of membership. She was elected a SNAME Fellow in 2013.

She also serves as chairman of the board of BayPort Credit Union, a $1.3 billion financial institution with 104,000 members headquartered in Newport News, VA.

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