Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division, Pa –
Whether the topic is valve actuators or diversity and inclusion, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) veteran Ed Carter’s leadership and expertise shines brightly and has led to him winning the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award.
Upon finding out that he won the award, Carter was, “Surprised, but excited and proud to be recognized with such an honor. It’s a remarkable achievement and I’m honored to be among the other leaders and innovators who have received this award.”
According to the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) website, the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award is a part of the BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) Category. The OAAs are granted to individuals in the workforce. These nomination applications are reviewed and recommended for an award by a panel of leaders from industry, government, and academia.
“We were very proud and excited to hear that Ed had received this much-deserved recognition. He has always been willing to take on new opportunities and challenges. Ed is an outstanding emerging leader at NSWCPD,” Propulsion, Power & Auxiliary Machinery Department Head Karen Dunlevy Miller said.
Carter has earned a Master of Arts from the U.S. Naval War College, a Master of Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) from Howard University.
After working at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard for seven years, the Englewood, New Jersey native joined NSWCPD in 2017 as a mechanical engineer. Today, as the team lead for the Aircraft Carrier, Nuclear Propulsion (CVN 78) Valve Actuator and Navy Common Actuator programs, he is responsible for Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) inspections, validations, and trials for surface ships; serves as the lead systems engineer for the Actuator Database Development project; supervises a team of four engineers and so much more. His leadership style ensures that every team member’s voice is heard and his ability to bring teams together was on display as he brought about the development of a new Navy Common Actuator (NCA). This project needed multiple departments and subject matter experts to come together to share technical design input and feedback.
Carter’s successful leadership skills and his ability to build positive relationships led to a new contract being awarded and future production of the NCA product line is underway.
As Chair of the African American Employee Resource Group (AAERG), Carter’s application of diversity and inclusion was vital in creating a safe space for employees to discuss the racial tension stemming from George Floyd’s murder in April 2020. Under his leadership, they facilitated the “I Can’t Breathe” discussion, where individuals shared insights and social injustice within the communities.
Following that initial event came themed discussions about thought-provoking movies such as “13th” and “Hidden Figures”, as well as presentations about “Black Wall Street”, the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, and the importance of Black economic independence. Attendance and participation included people from varying backgrounds and seniority levels within NSWCPD, which increased the depth of the conversations. Each event happened within a safe space. New voices felt comfortable sharing their opinions and that allowed for learning and healing to take place. Carter also facilitated mentoring sessions and professional development, which expanded across other ERGs. These initiatives created a sense of unity and led to a lasting, positive impact on the NSWCPD workforce.
Carter’s leadership within both his role managing the valve actuator programs and as the chair of the AAERG has made a significant impact across NSWCPD. His theme of diversity and inclusion echoes throughout his successes and serves as a blueprint for future generations.