The 38th Becoming Everything You Are program celebrates STEM achievements in government, private companies, and education.

Daphne Allen

February 26, 2024

5 Min Read
38th BEYA (Becoming Everything You Are) STEM DTX Conference Awards
Dr. Gilbert “Chip” Jones, a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems, was honored with the 2024 Legacy Award during the 38th annual BEYA Awards Conference on Feb. 17. Northrop Grumman

Several engineers and other STEM professionals have been honored during the 38th BEYA (Becoming Everything You Are) STEM Digital Twin Experience (DTX) Conference. The annual event recognizes industry leaders from companies, government agencies, and educational institutions and in other roles for their leadership and achievements in STEM.

Honors include the BEYA STEM Awards (listed below) as well as recognition of Science Spectrum Trailblazers and Modern-Day Technology Leaders.

Ken Washington, PhD, chief technology & innovation officer at Medtronic, was honored with the Black Engineer of the Year Award, a recognition intended to celebrate “outstanding achievements of Black professionals in STEM industries,” according to a news release.

"We are thrilled to present Ken Washington with the Black Engineer of the Year Award," said Dr. Tyrone D. Taborn, CEO of Career Communications Group and Editor in Chief of US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, in the release. "His dedication to advancing technology and engineering, coupled with his commitment to mentoring and encouraging the next generation of STEM leaders, truly embodies the spirit of the BEYA STEM DTX Conference."

Washington was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University, and his career includes roles at Sandia National Laboratories, Lockheed Martin, Ford Motor Company, and Amazon. 

Also honored was Dr. Gilbert “Chip” Jones, a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems (pictured above), who received the 2024 BEYA Legacy Award for “his ability to shape the future through outstanding systems engineering contributions and cultivating the next generation of STEM talent through mentoring and tutoring,” according to a news release issued by Northrop Grumman.

According to his LinkedIn page, Jones works on strike programs for which he has received commendation and has mentored professionals on leadership development, career growth, and organizational exposure.

The BEYA STEM DTX Conference is produced by Career Communications Group Inc. This year’s event was presented by co-hosts US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin, technology host Google, and co-sponsors Actalent and RTX. The 2025 BEYA STEM DTX Conference will return to Baltimore February 13-15, 2025.


Honorees in the 2024 Becoming Everything You Are STEM Digital Twin Experience


BLACK ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Ken Washington, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Technology & Innovation Officer
Medtronic

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT IN GOVERNMENT
Andrea Williams, Chief, Operations Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Carl Donahoo, Lead Engineer, Joint Program Office for both Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM)
AFLCMC/EB-E

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT IN INDUSTRY
George Coles Jr., Biomechanical and Microelectronics Engineer
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

William Johnson Jr., SVP Logistics & Mission Support Operations
Leidos

COMMUNITY SERVICE IN GOVERNMENT
Tony Harris, Systems Engineer
DEVCOM Analysis Center

COMMUNITY SERVICE IN INDUSTRY
Eric Biribuze, Global Sales Director, AGS
Corning Incorporated

Anthony Crutchfield, Vice President, Army Systems
The Boeing Company

DAVE BARCLAY AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Allan Sonsteby, Ph.D., Executive Director
Penn State Applied Research Lab

Duran Gunter, Director, Quality & Process Engineering
Pratt Whitney, a RTX Business

GEM OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNUS
Nashlie Sephus, Ph.D., Tech Evangelist/Senior Scientist at Amazon, AL
Amazon

LEGACY AWARDS
Asma Abuzaakouk, Ph.D., Human and Organization Systems, Principal
MITRE

Tracy Barnes, Chief Information Officer
State of Indiana

Sunita Benson-Agwu, Manager Project Execution
Pepco Holdings

Angelys Cuello, Clinical Engineer II
Abbott

Bertrand Damiba, Director, Product Management
Google

Gilbert "Chip" Jones III, D.M., Staff Engineer Systems Architect
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Robert McMeans, Manager
Spirit AeroSystems

Kamal Mohamed, Ship Manager
General Dynamics Electric Boat

Veronica Nelson, Executive Director
Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering (AMIE)

Sharon Parish, Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Department of Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command

Michael Patton Jr., Vice President, Program Management
Lockheed Martin Corporation

Wayne Richards Jr., DBA, Senior Manager, Program Management
Raytheon, an RTX Business

Tiffany Spence, General Engineer
Missile Defense Agency

Ron Williams, Senior Vice President and General Manager
Jacobs

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Howard McKenzie, Chief Engineer and Executive Vice President of Engineering, Test & Technology
The Boeing Company

MOST PROMISING ENGINEER IN GOVERNMENT
Lowell Jones, Aerospace Engineer
Air Force Materiel Command

MOST PROMISING ENGINEER IN INDUSTRY
Nirupama (Pam) Bhattacharya, Ph.D., Principal Data Scientist
MITRE

Nicole Jackson, Ph.D., R&D S&E Systems Research and Analysis
Sandia National Laboratories

MOST PROMISING SCIENTIST
Shavonn Watkins, Ph.D., Associate
Booz Allen Hamilton

Connie Kim, Health Program Analysis and Transformation, Lead
MITRE

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTION IN GOVERNMENT
Nathaniel Bridges, Ph.D., Research Biomedical Engineer
Air Force Research Laboratory

Chad Nash, Chief, QRC Branch
U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTION IN INDUSTRY
Tresha Lacaux, Vice President & 777X Chief Project Engineer
The Boeing Company

Christa Wright, Ph.D., Research Director
CIRI of UL Research Institutes

PIONEER AWARD
Matice Wright-Springer, Senior Vice President
Booz Allen Hamilton

PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT IN GOVERNMENT
Maj Roderick Ervin, Chief, Program Integration Branch
United States Air Force

LTC Michael Pope, Deputy Commander
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT IN INDUSTRY
Nelson Akwari, Ph.D., Director, Interiors Responsibility Center South Carolina
The Boeing Company

Brandon Cassimere, Ph.D., Senior Technical Professional Leader
KBR

RESEARCH LEADERSHIP
Katherine Kim, Ph.D., Consumer Health Informatics, Principal
MITRE

SENIOR INVESTIGATOR
Rigobert Tibi, Ph.D., R&D S&E Geosciences Engineering
Sandia National Laboratories

Sridevi Polavaram, Ph.D., Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer
MITRE

SENIOR TECHNOLOGY FELLOW
William Agassounon, Ph.D., Director, Research & Advanced Systems
Textron Systems

STUDENT LEADERSHIP – UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL
Jabari Bowen, Cadet
U.S. Air Force Academy Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

TECHNICAL SALES AND MARKETING
Victor Deal, Senior Program Manager, Business Development
HII

VISIONARY AWARD
Anthony Brown, Esq., Attorney General
Maryland State Government


About the Author(s)

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of Design News. She previously served as editor-in-chief of MD+DI and of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News and also served as an editor for Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered design, manufacturing, materials, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues for more than 20 years. She has also presented on these topics in several webinars and conferences, most recently discussing design and engineering trends at IME West 2024 and leading an Industry ShopTalk discussion during the show on artificial intelligence.

Follow Daphne on X at @daphneallen and reach her at [email protected].

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like