Native named Promising Black Engineer
Feb 10, 2012 | 3596 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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“Whether Onekki Christian is interfacing with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, or her coworkers in Raytheon’s Florida Region on a volunteer project, she brings the same passion, enthusiasm and professionalism that get results.”

“Onekki executes her tasks with precision, zeal, dedication, and the utmost professionalism. I am genuinely thankful for the contributions Onekki provides to the Navy.”

This glowing praise was taken from recommendation letters from a Raytheon vice president in Florida and a U.S. Navy Captian for Christian who was applying for a Black Engineer of the Year Award.

More than 20 Raytheon, community, and educational leaders wrote recommendation letters highlighting her accomplishments. These letters, combined with her application, documented her exceptional Raytheon career and proved to be the winning formula for the NCS principal systems engineer.

The U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine, the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Lockheed Martin Corporation, selected Christian as this year’s Most Promising Engineer – Industry. She will be honored at the 2012 Black Engineer of the Year STEM Global Competitiveness conference later this month in Philadelphia.

To get a glimpse of what this award means to Christian, she was asked the following questions:

What does winning the BEYA most promising engineer award mean to you?

I am truly honored to receive the Most Promising Engineer - Industry award from BEYA. I respect and value the technical contributions all the nominees have made to their respective organizations and customers, which makes receiving this award all the more humbling.

To whom do you attribute your career success?

I attribute my career success to my parents and family for providing a phenomenal support system. I also attribute my success to hard work and the unparalleled breadth of technical advice and mentorship I've received from Raytheon senior systems, software, and hardware engineers over the years.

How are you going to uphold the honor of being the Most Promising Engineer?

Receiving this award serves as a charge for my continued growth in engineering, while also honing my leadership abilities. It also reminds me to continue my strong involvement in community efforts that inspire and promote our youth to engage in Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) careers. As the old adage goes, a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle, but the light of those it touches, together with its own light, shines even brighter.

Do you have a personal mission or a philosophy towards work that you’d like to share?

My philosophy is to always do my best at whatever is asked of me and to always maintain a positive attitude.

Christian is a lead systems engineer for the Joint Sensor Networking business in the Florida Region. Her activities involve the entire life-cycle of systems acquisition, including research, design, development, implementation, and testing. She manages a group of five system engineers and supports several engineers within the hardware and software engineering disciplines.

She began her Raytheon career in 2001 as a software engineer with the Intelligence and Information Systems business, in Garland, Texas. She then accepted a systems engineering opportunity with Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz., to help manage the technical risks for a missile program. In 2002, she transferred to Network Centric Systems in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Christian was East Side High School valedictorian, class of 1997. Christian has a bachelor of science degree in Computer Science from Jackson State University. Christian holds a master of science degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Phoenix – West Florida Campus. Along with her engineering work at Raytheon, Christian supports the community through numerous volunteer activities. She is involved in Raytheon’s MathMovesU® initiatives and as the first female president of Raytheon’s Black Employee Network – Central Florida, she managed over 100 members across three Raytheon sites.