DAHLGREN, Va. –
For Nia Jones, inspiration and determination come in the form of hard work and perseverance. And her talents and expertise in the technology field are acknowledged and applauded.
Jones, a lead engineer at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), is selected as a 2022 Science Spectrum Trailblazer awardee by the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Program.
As a teen, Jones realized the direction she wanted her future career to take. Inspired and encouraged by her family, she pursued a Science and Engineering Apprentice Program internship through the Office of Naval Research while in high school. She also participated in the Navy sponsored Pathways Internship Program while attending Swarthmore College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in general engineering that began her professional journey.
Soon after graduation, Jones joined the workforce at NSWCDD as an engineer and became an integral team member within the Weapons Control and Integration Department. “I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do and being able to contribute my knowledge and skillset to the projects that I support,” Jones said. “At a young age, I knew where I wanted my career to take me and at NSWCDD, I know I am on the right path to achieving my goals while supporting the workforce and the warfighter.”
As a lead engineer within the Lethality and Effectiveness Branch, Jones – serving as technical lead – supports projects and initiatives focusing on high power microwave (HPM) lethality analysis, developing test and evaluation procedures and technical writing methodology policies.
Regarded for her technical contributions, Jones assisted in expanding critical “understanding of the value lethality analysis” within the HPM community, according to the award citation.
In May 2021, department leadership selected Jones as the chief engineer liaison for a 12-month detail supporting the Missile Systems Integration and Weapons Effectiveness Division. Jones’ work and collaborative efforts with the division team led to implementing technical rigor best practices, developing cutting-edge technology and essential products for the fleet.
In addition to her outstanding work advancing HPM lethality technology and strong leadership at NSWCDD, Jones is heavily involved in her local community – coaching youth field hockey, participating in church youth groups and promoting science activities for children at the Museum of American History.
Her passion for giving back and encouraging students to participate in STEM-related activities helps inspire them to enter into science and engineering fields. She recently received the Big Sister Mentor of the Year award from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America organization for her volunteerism and service in mentoring within the Fredericksburg community.
The BEYA Program committee board recognizes minority men and women who are demonstrating ingenuity and perseverance in the science, research, technology and development fields.
For her limitless support, technical expertise, determination and drive to keep moving forward, the BEYA Program will present Jones with the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award at the 2022 BEYA STEM Conference, Feb. 17-19.
“I am truly honored to receive this award and am grateful to my colleagues, supervisors and division leadership for presenting me with opportunities to continue learning and striving to keep pushing ahead,” said Jones.