By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,

The Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) community boasts over 10,000 individuals. Its premier three-day event is the largest Black STEM conference in the country, during which grade and college students; government, corporate and military professionals; and industry employers have the opportunity to learn, network, celebrate Black excellence and explore STEM career opportunities. 

The 2022 BEYA STEM Conference, hosted by Career Communications Group, was held on Feb. 17 to 19 and took place online and in person at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference featured a career fair, internship opportunities and seminar discussions, and it bestowed honors on those who are science trailblazers and technology leaders. 

At the conference’s BEYA Gala, which was held Feb. 19, Ted Colbert took home the top honor, becoming the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year. Colbert is the executive vice president of The Boeing Company and the president and CEO of Boeing Global Services. 

In his role, Colbert has been responsible for advancing and maintaining network, computing, server, storage and infrastructure solutions across the Boeing Company. He also played a significant part in establishing the aerospace company’s internship program, which provides scholarships to students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 

Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, became the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year at the BEYA Gala on Feb. 19.

“We must continue to do the work of repairing the world’s injustices because freedom does not happen by accident,” said Colbert in his acceptance speech. “We need to work at it each day so our future generations can look back on this time and reflect on how we paved the way for their lives to be better, and they will in turn do the same. Let that be our legacy.” 

During BEYA’s HBCU Engineering Deans’ Breakfast, AFRO board member and civil rights leader Laura Murphy made history, becoming the first woman to win The Black Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Laura Murphy, former director of the American Civil Liberties Union and pioneer of the civil rights audit, became the first woman to receive The Black Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award.

Murphy previously served as the first woman and African American to lead the American Civil Liberties Union and currently leads her own consulting firm, Laura Murphy & Associates. There, she pioneered the civil rights audit, which helps corporations abolish discriminatory practices  and become more accountable and equitable to the communities they serve. 

“One important way that we will know when companies are more equitable is when Black and other engineers of color command a greater share of tech-sector jobs and leadership roles,” said Murphy in her acceptance speech. “I stand with the engineering deans to make this goal a reality.”

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