Professional Achievement award winners at the BEYA Conference are science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals who have made significant discoveries or advances in their career paths and are acknowledged as leaders of large STEM initiatives. Meet the 2023 award winners.
Sean Bradshaw, Ph.D., is a senior technical fellow for sustainability for Pratt and Whitney. His work focuses on reducing the aircraft engine’s environmental footprint. After earning a Ph.D. from M.I.T., he became an expert in combustion technology. This is a technology that is critical to reducing the emissions of future engines. He is also helping to develop the next generation of engineers as a professor at Columbia University.
“Astronaut Neil Armstrong said that children inspired by the excitement of space flight have come to appreciate the wonder of science, the beauty of mathematics, and the precision of engineering,” he said at the BEYA gala in February. “I was one of those children inspired by space pioneers and encouraged by my family, teachers, and mentors to reach beyond my grasp and become an aerospace engineer. Now, I work alongside brilliant aerospace engineers at Raytheon Technologies to develop aerospace product solutions that connect people, grow economies, and defend freedom.”
Paige Brown, Ph.D., is an accomplished engineer protecting public health in the United States by ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical devices. She also has experience researching, developing, and leading diversity equity, and inclusion programs in engineering education and the workplace. A recent graduate of the engineering education doctoral program, Brown is the new diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility officer for the labor department. She aspires to help transform the engineering culture to be inclusive and welcoming to all.
“I would not be here today accepting this particular award if it weren’t for the influential individuals who helped me begin my career in the federal government,” she said. “My path would have been different if it weren’t for Mr. Larry Wilkerson and Mr. Coolidge Hamlett serving as my mentors, sponsors, and advocates to other young Black engineers and me. Their encouragement and advice set me up to excel as an engineer in the federal government; I strive to be the same source of support for other engineers in their professional engineering journey.” Wilkerson and Hamlett were both trailblazing leaders at the Naval Air Systems Command.
The United States Army performs some of the world’s most innovative and challenging science and engineering. Dr. Patrick Taylor has been a leader in power and energy at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command—Aviation and Missile Center. It’s not all nuts and bolts, however. Like an onion, he’s got many layers. He’s an engineer, a media personality, a martial artist, an entrepreneur, a teacher, and a rocket scientist. More importantly, he’s a mentor and guide for the next generation of STEM professionals.
“Through my experiences with the media, I’ve met presidents, hall of fame athletes, and celebrities, but my most significant interactions are with students and those who wish to learn,” Taylor said. “So many people have come before me whose hard work and sacrifice have allowed me to be here today. Science and engineering have always been essential parts of my life. I’ve accepted the mantle to strive for personal success and be a friend, mentor, and example to those who follow in my footsteps.”