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the mother of daughters ages 8 and 14, and her husband is bat- tling pancreatic cancer. “If I didn’t have my faith, I don’t know where I would be


right now,” Marbury said, adding that she has a good support system at home and her flexibility on her job that allows her to work remotely, at times from her husband’s hospital room. Marbury offers the following advice to those just starting their careers: “Don’t be a pawn. Don’t let anyone define you. You define yourself. Don’t let any- one or anything deter you.” Ernest Levert has had a long storied career at Lockheed Martin — 28 years in production opera- tions, manufacturing engineering, production engineering, main- tenance operations, advanced manufacturing technologies, qual- ity, systems integration and more. He is now a fellow with Lockheed Martin, meaning he has been deemed as “the most senior techni- cal authority in his field and is uti- lized as a corporate consultant for the most complex technical issues across the corporation.” Fellows oversee advanced engineering in their field for the development of new products, materials or processes. They also serve as top consultants to senior management in long-range planning for new or projected areas of technical research and advancement. Fellow is a major achieve- ment—less than 1 percent of all of Lockheed Martin’s 60,000 engineers are chosen for this honor, according to Levert.


tion engineering welding program manager for the International Space Station. And he’s also proud to have served as the first African-American president of two professional organizations — the American Welding Society and the Federation of Materi- als Societies — that combined have 755,000 members as well as having been elected president of the International Institute of Welding Board of Directors in 2014.


Levert started his career serving in the U.S. Navy for a decade before going to Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor degree in welding engineering and materials science. Upon graduation, he had 18 job offers.


He decided to accept a posi-


Ernest Levert, Lockheed Martin Fellow, Lockheed Martin Corporation


tion with Ametek as a welding engineer where he was involved in building jet engines for the space shuttle program. While there, he met Ronald McNair, a physicist who would become an astronaut and tragically die in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. Levert said McNair became his mentor and offered him valu- able guidance and advice. He recalls that McNair rec- ommended that Levert “pick an area and become an expert.” However, the road to success has not always been without its rocky patches. He cited racism, be- ing laid off and at times struggling to maintain a positive attitude with some co-workers as some of the rough spots. “With God in your life and


Levert said his most challenging work was from 1995 to 1997 when he was working on an Army tactical missile system. He was told that one part of project required welding on a live missile to make it tamper proof.


“I did it myself, wrote the book, made the company more than [$750,000],” he said.


The other accomplishments of which he is most proud include his induction into the National Library of Congress as a “history maker” in science, receiving the Nova Award for Leadership from Lockheed Martin and his work as the produc-


faith in yourself, you set and achieve your goal no matter what you’re told,” Levert said.


Asked why we has stayed at Lockheed Martin for nearly three decades, Levert said the work has challenging and fun, which is exactly what he advises up-and-coming engineers to seek. “Find a career that you have a passion for because you will spend most of your life at work. So why not make it fun and get paid for it,” said Levert.


And, yes, Levert, who answers the question even before it is asked, he is related to the famous singing Leverts. They’re cousins.


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