BALTIMORE, Feb. 7, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Eleven Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) employees will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to engineering and managerial excellence during the 2006 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) conference, February 16-18 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Three Northrop Grumman honorees, Ron Smith, Robert Whyms and Ted E. Imes, Sr. will be presented the prestigious Black Engineer of the Year awards during the 20th annual BEYA conference held in conjunction with Black History Month to honor the nation's best and brightest engineers, scientists, executives and educators.
Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman's chairman, CEO and president; Wes Bush, corporate vice president and chief financial officer; and James Pitts, corporate vice president and president of the company's Electronic Systems sector, will present awards at the gala ceremony on Feb. 18, 2006. Dr. Sugar will also be the featured speaker at the Power Breakfast with the engineering deans of historically black colleges and universities.
"We are very pleased to participate in this year's BEYA conference and to recognize these outstanding Northrop Grumman employees," said Ian Ziskin, corporate vice president and chief human resources and administrative officer for Northrop Grumman Corporation. "They are greatly deserving of this national recognition. We are extremely proud of their achievements."
Black Engineer of the Year Award -- Professional Achievement in Industry
Ron Smith, vice president of Six Sigma for Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector, is responsible for the strategy and development of a tailored approach to implementing business transformation through process improvement. Smith is also acting vice president of Directed Energy Systems, which includes directed energy technology development, business development and program execution elements. All of the sector's laser programs and initiatives report to Directed Energy Systems, including Airborne Laser, the Joint High-Power Solid-State Laser Program and other laser technology efforts; active protection systems efforts; and company affiliates Cutting Edge Optronics and Synoptics.
A 24-year veteran of the company, Smith earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with post-baccalaureate studies at California State University, Long Beach.
Black Engineer of the Year Award -- Lifetime Achievement
Robert Whyms is responsible for the design of advanced digital-processor architectures to support key military sensors programs such as the F-22 radar processor and the Longbow Block III program radar electronics unit at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore.
Over the last six years, Whyms has supported the company's Discover 'E' (Engineering) Program, visiting inner city schools to speak about engineering careers, and for the past five years has co-mentored Baltimore high-school students as part of the Worthwhile to Help High School Youth (WORTHY) program. In past years, Whyms has also taught introductory computer programming to seventh graders, and conducted "Hands-On Science" experiments at a local elementary school.
Whyms earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida and a master's degree in electrical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University.
Black Engineer of the Year Award -- Alumni of the Year
Ted E. Imes, Sr., is director of the strike and weapons program operations at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore. As such, he has program management responsibility for transmit/receive module development and the Knowledge Aided Sensor Signal Processing and Expert Reasoning Program. Imes' technical expertise in avionics systems contributed to the establishment and training of European and Pacific Rim subsidiaries. He managed the international subcontracts for the Airborne Warning and Control System radar system improvement program which required the coordination of five companies, in five countries across two continents.
With the company for 27 years, Imes is also a former program leader and group leader for the WORTHY Program and participates in the annual Discover 'E' program. Imes earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola College in Maryland and a master's degree in technical management from The Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves on the executive boards of the National Society of Black Engineers -- Baltimore Alumni Chapter and the Black Engineer of the Year Alumni Association and was recently elected president of Black Professional Men, Inc.
100 Most Important Blacks in Technology
Patricia A. Newby, president of Xetron Corporation -- a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman -- has been honored by U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine. The annual list honors those role models working in the top echelons of technology, business, education and government. In 2004, she received the National Women of Color Technology President's Award for Career Achievement from Career Communications Group, Inc.
At Xetron, Newby is responsible for management of all resources, personnel and equipment involved in the design, development and manufacture of sophisticated, secure-communications equipment for a variety of U.S. military applications. She also mentors aspiring young engineers and engineering students.
Newby earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and a MBA in management from Loyola College in Maryland. She also completed the Executive Finance program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School.
Modern Day Technology Leaders Award
The BEYA conference recognizes women and men who are shaping the future of engineering, science and technology through their Modern Day Technology Leaders award. Seven Northrop engineers were selected for this honor.
Tameika N. Hollis joined Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems as a systems engineer. After only 2 months, she was named integrated product team lead for systems engineering and integration and test for her program. She is responsible for the development of all systems engineering tasks and budgets as well as all system-test activities. In addition to her technical contributions, Hollis was a part of a task force chartered with streamlining all the systems engineering processes at the company. She currently serves as first chair of the Northrop Grumman Society of Women Engineers at the company's Baltimore facilities. Hollis earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Florida A&M University and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.
Michael K. Johnson is currently a Six Sigma black belt at Northrop Grumman Space Technology. In recent assignments, Johnson functioned as deputy integration and test (I&T) manager on the Space Tracking and Surveillance System program, where his team reactivated and integrated two sets of bus hardware on a testbed and two spacecraft. He also served as section captain for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter proposal, managing inputs for various engineering functions. He was field I&T manager for the Tactical High Energy Laser program where he orchestrated more than 40 high-energy-laser missions, including the first single-rocket shootdown. Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in electrical systems technology at the University of Central Florida, with post-baccalaureate studies in statistical communication theory at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sharon Meadows, a systems engineer at Northrop Grumman Space Technology, develops and utilizes her digital-processing expertise at multiple program levels and serves as the lead responsible system engineer (RSE) for the Advanced Extreme High Frequency program's configurable on-board router (COR). Under her leadership, the COR SE team has supported several successful unit and subsystem design reviews. Meadows supported the Milstar program for many years in various RSE, verification RSE, and launch- and on-orbit operations roles. She earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in engineering from the University of Southern California.
Samuel R. Reid, Jr. is a fellow software engineer in the Test Engineering Systems department at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems and began his career in the Professional Development Program as a software engineer. Through the course of solving difficult technical problems, Reid garnered a patent disclosure and two trade-secret awards. He earned a bachelor's degree, with honors, in computer science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a master's degree in computer science from The Johns Hopkins University.
Britt A. Rodgers is currently the C4ISRT Networked Systems, Navy Systems Integration and Test integrated product team lead in Baltimore, with responsibility for ensuring that the military systems are designed, integrated and tested per government requirements. A major responsibility is managing the day-to-day system integration and sell-off activities and schedules to ensure on-time delivery of the product to the government. In addition, she supports system level factory acceptance testing and site acceptance testing for all C4ISRT Networked Systems programs. She previously worked on a U.S. Postal Service program as well as a space-based sensor system program. She earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware.
Shantel L. Samuel is an electronics engineer at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems and provides development and support for several antenna and radar technologies. She joined the company as a rotational engineer in the Professional Development Program. Samuel is an active member and treasurer for both the National Society of Black Engineers and Toastmasters. She earned a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from North Carolina State University, and is currently pursuing her master's degree in systems engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. She also recently received a company invention disclosure.
Vannia Willis began her career at Northrop Grumman Newport News as lead engineer for the multi-million dollar Engineer Change proposal. She iscurrently a senior engineer in the company's Washington D.C. engineering office and has responsibilities ranging from combat systems to exterior communications for both new aircraft carriers and the aircraft carrier overhaul. Willis is now working on CVN 78 as the exterior communication lead for the island, mast and 03 levels combat system support center; she also supports the topside working group and is part of the carrier engineering team for exterior communication systems and topside. She earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Temple University and master's degree in business administration from Averett University.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 125,000 employees, and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.