Dr. Chris Jones, BSAE '86, named the 2016 Black Engineer of the Year

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GT-AE alumnus Christopher Jones has been named as the 2016 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) by Black Engineer magazine.

Jones, BSAE ’86, is the corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Technical Services sector. This spring, the former GT ROTC student was inducted into the GT College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni and named an Associate Fellow of the AIAA.

Jones will formally receive his latest award at the 30th Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) ceremony, a part of the 3-day BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference, to be held in February 2016.

Reflecting on the honor, Jones generously acknowledged his alma mater.

"My experience at Georgia Tech, where I obtained my degree in aerospace engineering, was critical to my personal development," he said.

"Through the years I have remained focused on achieving technical excellence.  Additionally, at every stage of my career, maintaining good relationships with people from high school and college to the Air Force and other companies, have been important.  All of these experiences matter and make you a more competent leader."

Aerospace engineering school chair Dr. Vigor Yang echoed the pride that rippled across campus at the announcement.

"We applaud and admire the impressive career that Dr. Jones has carved out since leaving Georgia Tech," said Yang.

"There's no better way to inspire success among the next generation of engineers  than to demonstrate it with accomplishments like those of Dr. Jones. With each new accolade, he is pointing the way toward a bright future for all engineers."

Announcement of the award came October 12 from Tyrone Taborn the CEO of Career Communications Group, publisher of Black Engineer magazine.

Taborn praised Jones for being a role model to young people seeking to find their way to the STEM pipeline. As the 2016 recipient of the BEYA, Jones joins some of the most recognized luminaries in the engineering field.

"You know some of the great names," Taborn added. "Mark Dean, co-inventor of the personal computer at technology and consulting corporation IBM; Shirley Ann Jackson, an American physicist, and the eighteenth president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Walt Braithwaite," he said.

Since its launch 30 years ago, the BEYA has bestowed this honor to just 29 of the more than 10,000 nomination packages submitted.

Jones "is what we want our children to aspire to," said WHO IS THIS Hrabowski. "To believe in this concept of STEM for all Americans."

Giving credit to his parents, the U.S. military, and his employer, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Jones expressed his pride in being "the product of what's good about the United States."

Jones joined Northrop Grumman in 2004 as director of product support for the Airborne Early Warning Program. In addition to program execution, he provided technical leadership during aircraft design, development, production and fielding, and was a key member of the business strategy development and capture teams. Earlier, Jones worked for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, where he led analysis, flight tests and research on innovative rotorcraft technologies. He also was the company's technology lead on the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program and served as chief systems engineer for the Naval Hawk program. In addition to his civilian career, Jones was an active duty Air Force officer and worked as a systems analyst at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he performed analysis on foreign ballistic missile and space systems.

Jones was also a member of the Connecticut Air National Guard for 14 years, serving as the chief of maintenance for the 103rd Air Control Squadron. He participated in military deployments including Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom. Jones retired from the Air Guard in 2011. He earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned two master's degrees in aerospace engineering and engineering management from the University of Dayton and a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.

Jones serves on the board of directors of the National Action Council for Minorities and on the board of visitors of the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

"It's a good day for engineering, for Northrop Grumman and for America," said Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush.


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