News: SPAWAR personnel receive Black Engineer of the Year awards
Story by Ashley Nekoui
SAN DIEGO -- The Career Communications Group (CCG), Inc. recognized Ayodeji Coker, Lilton Hunt, and Dwayne Lloyd with Black Engineer of the Year awards (BEYAs) during its 27th annual BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference, held Feb. 7 to 9 in Washington, D.C.
The three engineers, all employees at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific), are part of the Navy’s critical STEM workforce working to keep Navy warfighters ready to fight in the new age of information warfare.
CCG created the employee recognition program in 1987 when the Department of Labor issued its Workforce 2000 report predicting a shortage of skilled workers by the year 2000. CCG wanted to highlight exemplary STEM employees for their achievements.
“I’m proud to have three of SSC Pacific’s engineers selected to receive Black Engineer of the Year awards,” said Capt. Joe Beel, SSC Pacific’s commanding officer. “Their individual contributions to enabling information dominance for our warfighters has been superb, and this recognition is well deserved.”
Coker, a computer engineer at SSC Pacific for three years, received the BEYA Most Promising Scientist Award on Feb. 7. Coker was nominated for the award based on his past accomplishments and future potential.
“Coker is one of the brightest and most promising engineers in our organization,” said Bryan Scurry, command and control department head at SSC Pacific. “He is young, energetic and a visionary leader within our research core of engineers and scientists.”
Coker is currently working on the Adaptive Intermittent Communications Capability for Enhanced Autonomy in Unmanned Surface Vehicles project, part of the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering Program.
Through this project, Coker is developing a methodology and tool for predicting the probability of achieving communication between heterogeneous teams of unmanned vehicles operating in maritime and joint military environments.
“This new capability is a key enabler to the future warfighting capability of the Navy and military,” said Scurry. “Dr. Coker’s leadership and teambuilding skills are unique in that he has tailored his project team to include engineering and scientific expertise from recent college graduate interns to seasoned subject matter military experts.”
Enabling information dominance to our warfighters through research, development, delivery and support of integrated capabilities is part of SSC Pacific’s mission.
Lloyd, the 2012 BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader Award recipient, understood this when he came to work at SSC Pacific after retiring from the Navy with 26 years of active-duty service.
“I love being so close to the fleet, visiting the ships and seeing the direct impact we provide through networks, radio frequency systems and other means, said Lloyd. “It’s a great feeling to know that I’m directly supporting the defense of our nation and helping to make our Navy the strongest, most capability fighting force in the world.”
Lloyd has been an employee at SSC Pacific for the past seven years, after realizing that he wanted a career where he could continue to have an impact on the fleet supporting Sailors and Marines.
Lloyd is a project manager and integrated project team lead assigned to manage all U.S. Pacific Fleet installation and modernization efforts.
Contributing to the warfighter was one of the main reasons that Hunt also chose a career at SSC Pacific.
“I met with an SSC Pacific recruiter during graduate school at Michigan State University,” said Hunt. “She painted a picture of a Department of Defense research organization that encouraged research and offered a fair amount of independence in determining what one would work on to contribute to the warfighter.”
Hunt began his career at SSC Pacific 10 years ago, starting out in the New Professional group.
Hunt currently supports the advanced electromagnetics technology branch, where he was selected by the Navy’s Communications and Global Positioning System Navigation Program Office (PMW/A-170) to serve as assistant program manager for science and technology.
Shortly after taking the position with PMW/A 170, the program office asked him to take the lead role for integrating communications systems on unmanned aerial vehicle platforms.
Based on his professional accomplishments, Hunt was recently selected for a BEYA Special Recognition Award, presented on Feb. 9.
“I enjoy working on cutting-edge technologies, improving existing capabilities, and finding new ways to keep old technologies useful,” said Hunt. “I enjoy the broadness of the experience I have had at the Center: being able to contribute to pure research efforts, engineering and design of systems now deployed, and solving shipboard technical problems while at sea on deployed vessels.”
“Diversity is important, and it should be celebrated,” said Beel. “The sharing of ideas and experiences by personnel of various backgrounds ensures a richness to the collaboration and communication across our workforce, inherently bringing out new and innovative ideas, which are vitally important to our work.”
As the Navy's information dominance systems command, SPAWAR designs, develops and deploys advanced communications and information capabilities. With more than 8,900 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet, SPAWAR is at the forefront of research, engineering, acquisition and support services that provide vital decision superiority capabilities to our forces.