10 Penn State engineers recognized at Black Engineer of the Year STEM Conference

February 19, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ten outstanding engineers at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) recently were recognized at the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) STEM Conference for their active contributions in shaping the future of engineering, science and technology. The awards ceremony, an evening which celebrates significant minority achievement in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — took place on Feb. 13.

ARL employees were represented in two awards categories: the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award and the Modern Day Technology Leader Award, both part of the BEYA STEM Outstanding Achievement Award category. A panel of leaders from industry, government and academia reviewed and recommended their applications.

Winners of the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award, which recognizes people actively creating new paths for others in science, research, technology and development, include:

  • Alfree “AJ” Conklin, research and development software engineer, from the Communication, Information, and Navigation Office (CINO)
  • Abdalla Nassar, department head, process physics, analytics, and engineering, from the Materials Management Office (MMO)
  • Alexia Reyes, R&D engineer, from the Undersea Systems Office (USO)

Winners of the Modern Day Technology Leader Award, which recognizes bright people who are shaping the future of engineering, science and technology, include:

  • Eliza Bradley, research and development (R&D) engineer, CINO
  • Alfree “AJ” Conklin, R&D software engineer, CINO
  • Stephen Fast, acting data sciences department head, CINO
  • Meghan Flannery Hayes, department head, complex systems monitoring, MMO
  • Abdalla Nassar, department head, process physics, analytics, and engineering, MMO
  • Margalit Goldschmidt, assistant research professor, Fluid Dynamics and Acoustics Office (FDAO)
  • Amanda Handford, department head, structural acoustics, FDAO
  • Alexia Reyes, R&D engineer, USO
  • Sarah Roberts, R&D software engineer, USO
  • Lauren Shurgats, R&D engineer, USO

ARL Executive Director Allan Sonsteby commended the ARL team for their achievements, saying, “ARL is a proud supporter of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards STEM Conference, and we've been involved with this event for many years.  We are extremely proud of our 10 winners this year.”

About the Applied Research Laboratory

As a University Affiliated Research Center, Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory supports national security, economic competitiveness and quality of life through education, scientific discovery, technology demonstration and transition to application. As the largest research unit at Penn State, ARL continues to do vital work for the world at large through cutting-edge research and innovation.

Last Updated April 15, 2021