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health coverage to nearly 60 million Americans, including children, pregnant women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities. In 2014, Hill’s health and life and sciences busi- ness welcomed more than 400 new team members following the acquisition of Systems Made Simple, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.


Support to the team taking humans to destinations beyond low Earth orbit in NASA’s Lockheed Martin-built spacecraft Orion was also on on the agenda. Incidentally, the craft’s first un-crewed test flight voyage to space, with more than a 1,000 sensors on board, took place Dec. 4. Another highlight of Hill’s banner BEYA STEM year was the first anniversary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Minori- ties in Energy Initiative.


“It was a whole day of meeting strategic partners, ambas- sadors the Department of Energy put together, and [seeing] dif- ferent kinds of activities that people from academia and business are making. It’s to inspire students to pursue a career in energy, which is a significant challenge for the globe,” Hill said. “Talk- ing to Dot Harris, I can feel the passion and its working.” Harris is an assistant secretary overseeing the energy


department’s office of economic impact and diversity, which has hosted a program that pairs students with DOE offices. Harris’ office also works with minority-serving institutions to connect them with national laboratories and help schools commercial- ize some of the laboratory-scale technologies coming out of the labs. The idea is to grow new businesses and train the next generation of scientists and engineers. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy program addresses the needs of historically underrepresented communities in the energy sector and seeks to empower, equip, and prepare businesses, communities, schools and individuals to partake in the technical, procurement, engagement, workforce, and energy literacy resources of the federal energy depart- ment. 2013 Black Engineer of the Year awardee, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of University of Baltimore County, is an ambassador of the program. “When you talk about energy, it’s a global security chal-


lenge. When you talk health, it’s a global security challenge. As we read and learn about significant global security challenges, it is clean water, and drinkable water,” Hill said. To that extent, although not in her business area, Hill was pleased to say Lockheed Martin has patented a nanotechnology- enabled filtration solution called Perforene that can trap all kinds of particles, salts and minerals so that ALL water becomes drink- able. She says there’s “work to do” to scale it to meet critical global needs but it is still going to be a significant breakthrough. Especially for countries like Sierra Leone, with increasing numbers of urban and rural poor living in slums and communities that lack water and sanitation services and corresponding support.


www.blackengineer.com


Which brought us to summer 2014 hot topics about minori- ties in tech, retention, promotion and career progression, and by extension the five women who have broken through the prover- bial glass ceiling to win the prestigious BEYA. “When you think about the five female BEYA winners, I’ve been privileged to meet most of them,” Hill said. “We talked about, hopefully, that this award helps us to be more of a role model to women who really want to do this, but are not sure they can,” Hill said.


In 2001, trailblazing Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was the first woman to win the top award at BEYA, which was launched in 1986. Two years after Jackson’s landmark win came former president and CEO of Mitretek Systems, Lydia Thomas, in 2003. Three years later, retired Lockheed Martin Corporation officer and executive vice president Linda Gooden headlined BEYA STEM’s 20th anniver- sary. The Aerospace Corporation’s president and CEO, Wanda M. Austin, was the 2009 Black Engineer of the Year. “Sometimes we think, in 2014, it wouldn’t be a question that’d come up as often. You talk about some of the statistics, and one of the ones most troubling to me is around girls in elementary school,” Hill said. “By the second grade, most girls have decided math is either for them or not. And unfortunately most of our girls have decided that math is not for them,” she noted.


The BEYA has been especially meaningful to Hill she says because, “it recognizes the work Lockheed Martin does every day to help our nation. Hopefully, it will also serve as an inspira- tion to students about the many rewarding opportunities that a career in engineering and IT can offer.”


During 2014, Hill, a STEM executive, was part of Lockheed


Martin’s hosting of the USAA Science and Engineering Festival. “There were many things for the young people to see,” she said. “More than 30,000 people that came to this festival. To see young girls faces light up, to see women, not just me, but other women, that are in the field and making a difference has to be inspiring.”


Hill is a board member of the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Maryland Business Roundtable. She also serves on the RTCA or Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics NextGen Advisory Committee, which develops recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding modernization of the National Airspace System. In addition to her BEYA award in 2014, Hill was included


on the EBONY Power 100 list, which recognizes the achieve- ments of African-Americans in a variety of fields. She was also recently selected as one of Computerworld’s 2015 Premier 100 IT leaders.


USBE&IT I WINTER 2015 11


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