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The Black Engineer of the Awards (BEYA) recognize unknown African American pioneers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and honor those who continue to make significant contributions in STEM.

A recent estimate says that more than 10,000 people have been nominated for various awards at the BEYA STEM Conference. Among that number are the 34 men and women who have been named Black Engineer of the Year.

Launched in 2016 during the 30th annual BEYA STEM Conference, the Legacy Awards are named after past Black Engineers of the Year. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll take a look at past and current legacy award winners.

The Dr. John Brooks Slaughter Legacy Award is named for the first Black Engineer of the Year award winner in 1987. He achieved advancements at General Dynamics in electronics engineering, computer control systems in naval weapons, science, and research. An expert in higher education and leadership, Dr. Slaughter is a former chancellor of the University of Maryland and the first African American to head the National Science Foundation.

Winners of this award include Edouard Benjamin, vice president for program management at Leidos (2017), Danielle Grant, an engineer and project manager at Leidos (2017), and 2018 honoree, LaTisha Durham, an engineer responsible for navigation controls and display systems at the Naval Air Systems Command.

The 2020 Dr. John Slaughter Legacy Award goes to Olie Burton, director of enterprise technology services and support at General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT).

In 2017, Naveed M. Hussain, vice president of aeromencahnics technology for Boeing Research & Technology, was one of the first winners of  the Arlington W. Carter Legacy Award. April Sanders, a senior manger for space and airborne systems at Raytheon, won the award in 2018.

The 2020 Arlington W. Carter Legacy Award goes to Sydney Hamilton, a mechanical design engineer at The Boeing Company.

Carter was the 1990 Black Engineer of the Year. Back then, he was vice president and general manager in the Missile Systems Division at Boeing. He spent his entire career at The Boeing Company, achieving aviation and aerospace milestones. After retiring, he remained actively involved in civic and community-building endeavors.

The 35th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Conference will take place February 11-13, 2021.

Hosted by Career Communications Group’s Black Engineer magazine and the Council of Historically Black College and University (HCBU) Engineering Deans, legacy awards include the Linda Gooden Legacy Award for Entrepreneurship, the Albert J. Edmonds Legacy Award in Federal Information Technology (IT), the Joe N. Ballard Legacy Award for Public Engineering Services, the Rodney C. Adkins Legacy Award for Business Transformation, the Anthony R. James Legacy Award in the Utilities category, the William R. Wiley Award for Research, and the Walt W. Braithwaite Award for Aviation.

Stay tuned for more on Black Engineer of the Year Award winners and the Legacy Awards.

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