Earlier this month, the Women in Defense Michigan (WID-MI) Chapter presented Dr. Jennifer Hitchcock its Excellence in Leadership award during its 7th Annual Black Tie Gala at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Mich. Dr. Hitchcock was recognized for 26 years of exceptional organizational and technical leadership experience in military ground vehicle technologies, system engineering, acquisition and program management.

Following the presentation, Dr. Hitchcock said, "I am very honored and humbled to accept this award, which means a lot to me because it's a peer nomination, and someone thought enough of my contributions over the years to nominate me."

Appointed to the Senior Executive Service in January 2011 as the Executive Director for Research and Technology Integration (RTI) at the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command's Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) located at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., Dr. Hitchcock is responsible for developing, integrating and sustaining the right technology solutions for all manned and unmanned Department of Defense (DoD) ground systems and combat support systems.

As RTI Executive Director, Dr. Hitchcock leads the research and integration of Army ground vehicle mobility, power and energy, survivability, robotics, software and vehicle electronic architecture technologies. She leads more than 500 associates in five technical business areas, and is the executive responsible for planning and execution of technology programs the Army will pursue and transition to acquisition programs.

Also recognized for numerous contributions to Army ground systems vehicles, Ms. Melissa B. Morgan was awarded the WID Horizon Industry Award for Innovation for her demonstrated innovation and excellence for delivering significant systems engineering reliability testing and modelling and simulation for a full-up system-level vehicle for the Army Program Office for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Ms. Morgan is the Lead Platform Engineer in TARDEC's Physical Simulation and Test Division, Systems Integration and Engineering Directorate.

Established in 2009, the Horizon Industry Award for Innovation recognizes defense and national security professionals who distinguish themselves in their field and help their organizations achieve critical business objectives and goals.

The WID-MI Chapter, A National Security Organization, is a non-profit professional networking and development organization for women and men across Michigan who contribute to national defense and security. Formed in 2007, the Michigan Chapter seeks to strengthen and influence the defense and national security industry by inspiring women, cultivating leadership and growing professional relationships.