REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Feb. 16, 2023) – They don’t do it for the money, or the recognition – they do it for the warfighter.
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Command Aviation & Missile Center was well-represented at the 2023 BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year) STEM Conference awards, as Dr. Patrick Taylor, James Bowman III and Dr. Terrance West were honored for their professional achievements and contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“We are so blessed to have incredible talent that work very hard for our Army,” said DEVCOM AvMC Director Jeff Langhout. “In front of well over 2,000 leaders from across industry and government, Mr. James Bowman and Dr. Terrance West were both formally recognized at BEYA as Modern-Day Technology Leaders, while Dr. Patrick Taylor received the Professional Achievement in Government award. Awesome stuff and well-deserved, sirs!”
Over his 16 years of civil service to the Army, Taylor has become recognized as the subject matter expert for power technology in aviation and missile systems, as well as a leader in missile propulsion technologies. He has tackled a number of challenging problems including development of experimentation techniques for evaluating performance and suitability of novel electric solid propellants for Army tactical rocket systems, and development of electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for Army aviation and missile systems.
Not only has Taylor excelled professionally, but he also works with young professionals and engineering students, providing mentorship and career guidance. As a result of that outreach, several have followed in his footsteps and become government civilians supporting technology development.
“This award is particularly special to me because it recognizes both technical achievement and my efforts to help develop and foster STEM,” said Taylor, acting Propulsion Test branch chief. “STEM is the linchpin for future progress globally. It’s also an area that still needs promotion and action, particularly in the Black community. Recognition in these spaces is great not only for individuals who are already established in their careers, but even more for young people and those looking for role models and examples of achievement in their career areas of choice.
"I come from a STEM family. My brothers are both engineers. My sister is a STEM education professional. It’s not just what we do. It’s who we are."
As a recognized leader in missile science and technology in the Army community, West is “consistently assigned high priority, rapid paced projects by senior leadership due to his responsiveness, thoroughness, and commitment to providing the best technical, programmatic un-biased approach,” according to his nomination packet.
West was the first African American to receive a PhD in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University. Like his fellow award winner Bowman, he also served as an adjunct professor at Alabama A&M, and volunteers to promote STEM to young people.
“It was an honor to receive the Modern-Day Technology Leader Award at BEYA,” said West, AvMC branch chief for missile science and technology execution. “This award is not just a testament on my hard work, but a testament of the dedication and hard work of the subject matter experts at DEVCOM AvMC.”
Both Taylor and West work in AvMC’s Technology Development Directorate.
“I am thrilled that BEYA recognized both Dr. Terrance West and Dr. Patrick Taylor this year,” said Christi Dolbeer, AvMC TDD director. “They are incredibly talented engineering professionals who are dedicated to serving our Soldiers by developing and demonstrating world-class weapons technology. They also have a passion for mentoring and helping others whenever and wherever possible.”
For more than 30 years Bowman, who works in the AvMC Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate, has devoted his career to the Army and Joint Services as a software and systems engineer, and program manager, during which time he has been instrumental in the development of several software systems and technology, particularly unmanned aircraft systems. The result of his hard work has not only been invaluable technology for the warfighter, but cost-effective developments for the Army as a whole.
“Mr. Bowman’s leadership and technical contributions positively impact successful operations of the UAS fielded solutions of today and directly contribute to achievement of the Army’s aviation modernization priorities,” said Dr. James Kirsch, AvMC S3I director.
In his free time, Bowman has served as an adjunct professor at Alabama A&M, a Historically Black College and University. He also volunteers with STEM outreach and education for minority populations.
“This award is tangible evidence that one’s destiny does not need to be dictated by one’s past,” Bowman said. “Growing up in the inner city and navigating multiple challenges with my family, I don’t only receive this award for myself, but for all those who can now hear the journey of a young man who was initially wandering through life but was then exposed to a ‘better-way,’ resulting in upward mobility.
“I am honored to receive this award and understand that it is a moral obligation to share with others that perseverance, then encouragement to others is a sequential imperative. Service to others, a pathway to honor.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.