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General Dynamics Engineers Named Modern-Day Technology Leaders

general dynamics beya modern-day technology award winners 2017Two General Dynamics Mission Systems engineers were honored for contributing to the future of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at the 2017 BEYA conference.

At BEYA’s 31st annual STEM Global Competitiveness Conference in Washington, D.C, two of our engineers, Tamika Sims and Josh Zhou received the prestigious Modern-Day Technology Leader Award. The Modern-Day Technology Leader Award recognizes an individual’s commitment to shaping the future of engineering, science, and technology and based on nominations by their employers or team members. Tamika and Josh were among about 40 other employees recognized for their efforts across General Dynamics’ business units.

Meet Our Award Winners

Tamika Sims, a system test and verification specialist within our Cyber and Electronic Warfare Systems line of business in Hanover, Maryland, skillfully applies her vast knowledge of testing and verification to significantly contribute to national security.

general dynamics beya modern-day technology leader tamika simsAccording to the nomination form submitted by Engineering Technical Manager Christopher Noel, Tamika “has done tremendous work with significant impact to our programs and customers. She is an excellent role model with a tremendous upside potential for both her technical acumen and leadership skills. She is highly regarded by her coworkers, customers and senior management.”

He adds that since she began work at General Dynamics almost two years ago, Tamika “is constantly tasked with system integration requests that require detail, organization and technical expertise. One recent example of her organizational expertise and commitment was successfully creating and managing very dynamic project schedules in concert with hands-on technical tasking within a project space with a great deal of evolving requirements.”

Tamika says she was overcome by “emotions of humbleness, gratitude and honor” when she learned she’d received the Modern-Day Technology Leader award. She says, “I’ve always taken the responsibilities of my job assignment very seriously, looking for ways to improve processes and deliver stellar work that not only represents my employer but also me as an individual.”

She adds, “I take pride in doing great work, and for it to be recognized is significant. I wasn’t familiar with the BEYA STEM Conference until my employment with General Dynamics, and I value the company’s involvement in recognizing employees’ achievements and diverse programs.”


Josh Zhou is a senior advanced systems engineer who joined General Dynamics a little over three years ago. His work has focused on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), one of the largest programs at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Facility in Greenbelt, Maryland. With a launch targeted for later this year, he’s been heavily involved in verifying the mission requirements and ensuring the ground system is ready to support the pending launch and existing mission set.

josh zhouAccording to the nomination letter submitted by Rashad Santos, senior principal systems engineer and Josh’s supervisor, “Josh’s ability to adapt to change and provide an on-your-toes solution in demanding situations are characteristics all engineers should embody in our profession.”

Rashad continues, “Josh has contributed to vastly improving the test verification campaign for JPSS in particular. He’s leveraged his operations experience and incorporated that into the total quality of the delivery system suitable to operations. Senior NASA leadership has recognized his efforts and acknowledged his contributions to the JPSS mission.”

Josh was surprised to find out he’d won the Modern-Day Technology Award. He says, “My supervisor never mentioned anything to me about putting me up for any awards. On the day he broke the news, we went over to our corporate office (since we both work at a customer site), and I thought I was going to be looped into a new assignment on a different project. That wasn’t the case, as he just wanted to make the announcement in front of a small crowd of coworkers and managers. I was caught completely off guard by the news and felt a little embarrassed by the attention. Nevertheless, I was grateful and thankful for the nomination and the award.”

Among those celebrating Tamika and Josh at the conference were Sharon Dunbar, vice president of Human Resources; Manny Mora, vice president and general manager of Space & Intelligence Systems, and Jim Stockdale, senior vice president of Business Operations.

Sharon says of attending and representing our company, “It was a great privilege for our team to join with rest of General Dynamics’ team in honoring our two award recipients, Tamika and Josh. Their accomplishments were every bit as impressive as the special work they do every day; we’re incredibly proud of them!”

About the BEYA Conference

The annual Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Conference is an inclusive three day event that gathers top professionals and students for networking events, education and exploration of the many opportunities related to STEM industries.

Congratulations, Tamika, Josh and all of the award recipients on receiving this prestigious honor and for leading the way in advancing STEM opportunities!