The BEYA gala is one of the most-watched events at the BEYA STEM Conference and a highlight of the event is the time-honored ceremony where one honoree succeeds another as Black Engineer of the Year. This year, the torch was passed by Theodore “Ted” Colbert, 2022 Black Engineer of the Year and president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, to Dr. Colin Parris, senior vice president and chief technology officer at GE Digital.
Writing on LinkedIn, Colbert said he was humbled to pass the torch to someone who understands the commitment to inspiring future leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“Since being named the 36th Black Engineer of the Year, I feel even more inspired to help others in their career journeys,” Colbert wrote. “It’s incumbent upon each of us to create a better tomorrow, and that starts with giving our time and talent to the next generation.”
The 2022 Black Engineer of the Year looks on as his successor makes his remarks after being presented with the 2023 Black Engineer of the Year Award.
Throughout his career, Dr. Parris has made significant contributions to the engineering field. His globally-respected Digital Twin Initiative offers innovative and visually engaging techniques to simulate and monitor a plant’s equipment in real-time, empowering operators to maintain peak operational efficiency. His focus is on digital technologies that facilitate the energy transition, with a vision to establish more resilient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly power systems for the future.
“I am honored to receive this award and to be recognized alongside so many brilliant minds in STEM,” Dr. Parris said during his acceptance speech. “I hope that by sharing these stories, we can inspire others to pursue their passions and push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
The BEYA STEM Conference provides a platform to showcase achievements and connect and build meaningful connections. This year’s conference featured prominent speakers, workshops, and networking events, connecting to the theme “Becoming Everything You Are.” In addition, attendees could learn from industry experts, and explore new trends in technology and innovation.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III poses with the 2023 Black Engineer of the Year Dr. Colin Parris and his wife Mrs. Terri Parris.
The BEYA STEM Conference, held from February 9th to 11th, celebrated the achievements of exceptional individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The conference also focused on promoting diversity in STEM and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups to thrive in these fields.
“STEM fields are critical to driving innovation and solving some of the world’s biggest challenges, and we must ensure that these fields are inclusive and accessible to all,” said Tyrone D. Taborn, publisher, and CEO of Career Communications Group. “The BEYA STEM Conference is a testament to the power of diversity and a reminder that when we bring together individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives, we can achieve great things.”
The conference organizers look forward to continuing this tradition and supporting the next generation of STEM professionals when it returns in 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland.