Tolbert receives Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award

Wayne Tolbert, a principal systems engineer at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been selected to receive the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award at the 2017 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Awards Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference.

The 31st BEYA Global Competitive STEM conference will be held in Washington, District of Columbia, in early 2017. The award is given on behalf of Career Communication Group’s U.S. Black Engineers Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“Receiving the BEYA Science Spectrum Trailblazer award was definitely an unexpected yet exciting moment. I appreciate the honor and am thankful for all of the people who helped me get where I am today. Most of the projects I’ve worked on over my career had the purpose of aiding and protecting our military service men and women and would not have been possible without being surrounded by exceptionally talented co-workers. And I hope this type of recognition can encourage youth, especially minorities, to pursue an education and career in a technical field,” Tolbert said.

After graduating from Williston-Elko High School, Tolbert received his bachelor of engineering from Clemson University via an Air Force ROTC scholarship. While serving as an officer in the military, he earned his Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University and was also awarded the Air Force Commendation and Achievement medals during his service.

During his career, Tolbert worked on Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NASA programs. He has performed system engineering support on projects that include the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Consolidated Space Operations/Satellite Center (CSOC), the Stealth/B2 Bomber, and the National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) 192 laser beam project. He has been with SAIC for 17 years and currently performs cost estimating and risk analysis support for the Marine Corps’ United States Marines’ Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Survivability Upgrade (SU) and the Assault Combat Vehicle (ACV) Programs. He is also the Program Manager for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (DASA) for Cost & Economics (CE) Aircraft Cost Support effort.

“Wayne is extremely deserving of the BEYA Research Leadership award. Wayne is a very talented and respected systems engineer that has spent his long career with SAIC supporting high-profile military and NASA programs with passion and a high-degree of expertise. The trust he has built with our customers and the extensive knowledge he has obtained has led to him being asked to support and lead some of our most challenging projects,” said SAIC Service Line Director Howard Lester.

Tolbert has spent countless hours supporting and encouraging his local community. He has been a mentor for Kids Hope USA and a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club of America. He also has served on the Board of Directors and as a pastoral staff member for various churches, directed men’s ministries, and led many youth and children’s group activities. Tolbert spends much of his free time as a professional actor and a singer/songwriter. He has appeared couple of times on network television shows, and his songs have aired on many radio stations across the country. He’s been married 18 years to his wife, Misty, and they have two children.