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John D. Harris, the 2010 Black Engineer of the Year, was chosen from more than a hundred other applicants for the coveted honor. At the time, he was responsible for developing global supply chain solutions in the service of Raytheon’s customers.

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During his term as a diversity champion, Harris created an Executive Diversity Leadership team at Raytheon. As a community supporter, Harris donates his time to the Urban League, the Executive Leadership Council, and the Executive Leadership Council Foundation.

“Race, age, experience, geography, language, none of these should restrict you. All of these are assets,” Harris told US Black Engineer (USBE) magazine in 2010.

Freeman A. Hrabowski, the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year, is one of the first college presidents to take top honors at BEYA. Widely celebrated for his work, Dr. Hrabowski has made the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) a model for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

UMBC is the nation’s #1 producer of Black undergraduates, who go on to complete MD-PhDs, and the top non-historically Black college and university (HBCU) in producing African American undergraduates who complete PhDs across the natural sciences and engineering. UMBC is also a lead institution for the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from none other than UMBC, Lockheed Martin Corp. brought Stephanie C. Hill on board as a software engineer.

Although she regards herself as an “accidental engineer” Hill’s work with missile systems earned her the Most Promising Engineer award at the 1993 BEYA STEM Conference. Twenty-one years later, she was named the 2014 Black Engineer of the Year for career-long leadership and commitment to promoting STEM education.

“I call myself an accidental engineer because when I started college, I majored in economics to get my accounting degree and I took classes in COBOL programming, she told USBE magazine in 2014. “For the longest time, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to major in economics or switch to computer science because, with every elective, I took more and more of computer science. I fell in love with it. It was so much fun! Then in my junior year, I had to declare. So I decided it was going to be both.”

Hill graduated with a double major in computer engineering and economics from UMBC and continues raising awareness about STEM career opportunities.

Did you know that Ed Welburn, the 2015 Black Engineer of the Year, created the trophy that honors the most outstanding car, truck, and utility vehicle of the year?

The award embodies a vision of a vehicle in the same way the statue for the Oscars represents an ideal version of the human form. Before he retired, Welburn and his team were responsible for the design development of every General Motors (GM) concept and production car and truck.

“I really want to help young people to understand the possibilities in a career,” Welburn said. “I want to help them understand if there is something they’re passionate about they need to focus and study and dream and work hard to achieve that,” he said.

Dr. Christopher Jones, the 2016 Black Engineer of the Year, won a student leadership award at BEYA 1996. In 2012, Jones won a second BEYA for career achievement.

Born in Havre de Grace, Maryland, he earned an appointment as an Air Force ROTC cadet and National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Scholar. In 1986, he graduated with honors as an aerospace engineering major from Georgia Tech. In 1991,  Jones left the Air Force. and returned to school for the full-time pursuit of a doctorate in aerospace engineering. At Northrop Grumman, Dr. Jones provided technical leadership during aircraft design for the Hawkeye, the airborne early warning and battle management aircraft used by the U.S. Navy fleet.

Prior to beginning his service at the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. School of Engineering at Morgan State University, Dr. Eugene DeLoatch spent 24 years with Howard University. Under his 30-year tenure, Morgan State’s engineering school earned a reputation for academic excellence.

Today, the college graduates more than two-thirds of Maryland’s Black civil engineers, sixty percent of African-American electrical engineers, 80 percent of the Black telecom specialists, more than one-third of the Black mathematicians, and all of Maryland’s industrial engineers.

“I can’t think of a better thing I could have done from the time I started as an instructor in engineering at Howard University,” Dr. DeLoatch reflected in 2016. “I have no regrets taking the route of higher education and doing it in an environment where I could impact the thought processes and the decisions to become an engineer in the historically Black colleges and universities in our country,” he said. “There are lots of other things I could have done or ended up doing. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t know what it would turn out to be, but I don’t think I would have got this kind of impact,” he said.

The 2010s

John D. Harris, 2010 Black Engineer of the Year (Vice President, Contracts and Supply Chain, Raytheon)
Lloyd Howell, 2011 Black Engineer of the Year (Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton)
David L. Steward, 2012 Black Engineer of the Year (Chairman of the Board, World Wide Technology, Inc.)
Freeman A. Hrabowski, 2013 Black Engineer of the Year (President, University of Maryland Baltimore County)
Stephanie C. Hill, 2014 Black Engineer of the Year (President, Information Systems & Global Solutions, Lockheed Martin)
Ed T. Welburn, 2015 Black Engineer of the Year (Vice President of Global Design, General Motors)
Christopher T. Jones, 2016 Black Engineer of the Year (Corporate Vice President and President, Northrop Grumman Technology
Eugene DeLoatch, 2017 Black Engineer of the Year (Dean Emeritus, Morgan State University, School of Engineering
Alicia Boler Davis, 2018 Black Engineer of the Year (Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing, General Motors)
Anthony Mitchell, 2019 Black Engineer of the Year (Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton)

The 37th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) will take place Thursday, February 9-11, 2023 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Click here to register.

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