DAHLGREN, Va. – Two Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) subject matter experts have received recognition for their expertise as Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) Modern Day Technology Leaders.
Jesse Campbell, lead engineer for the Tomahawk Guidance Test Set (GTS) Program, and Laser Systems Group Lead Scientist Sean Durrant may work on different programs at NSWCDD, but they share the same technical superiority and team-centered attitude.
“I’m really humbled by the nomination,” said Durrant. “There are many talented people at NSWC Dahlgren. I’d like to thank my colleagues that worked alongside me.”
Like Durrant, Campbell said he was humbled to be acknowledged: “I am honored and extremely thankful to have received the BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader award. This would not have been possible without my ambitious teammates and leadership that have supported and guided me along the way.”
Every year, BEYA hosts a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Conference. The conference acts as a connection tool for students and professionals in the STEM field, as well as distinguishes winners like Campbell and Durrant.
According to Campbell’s nomination letter, the Marine received credit for his role in the GTS program. The program itself is a key component for evaluation in the Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS), providing “a modular, portable high fidelity missile simulator used aboard ships, submarines, and in Navy laboratories.”
The TWS team provides the United States with “combat power required to maintain our way of life,” according to his nomination letter.
As lead engineer, Campbell’s knowledge makes him the government’s subject matter expert for the program in all phases of its lifecycle.
In the NSWCDD Laser Systems and Analysis Branch, Durrant and his team provide technological support to the Laser Weapons System, developing the next generation directed energy weapon systems to combat naval threats.
“My job requires me to work long hours, with occasional travel. It’s had an impact on my family – I am so thankful to my wife, Summer, and daughter, for their support,” said Durrant. “I’d also like to thank my former thesis advisor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Dr. Azad Siahmakoun, who recognized I would be a good fit for the institution. His recognition was instrumental to my involvement in optics and lasers.”
Six NSWCDD employees have been recognized as BEYA winners since 2000. This year’s BEYA STEM Conference was held virtually on February 12, 2021.