PhD Student James Stewart wins Black Engineer of the Year Award
James Stewart, a PhD student in Purdue University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been selected for the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) as a Modern Day Technology Leader. The award honors African Americans who have established themselves as the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). BEYA award winners are selected by the Engineering Deans of 15 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
Stewart is a PhD student studying with Prof. Alex Kildishev. His research involves optical metastructures such as nano coreshell structures and holographic monochromatic focusing lens. In addition to pursuing his PhD, Stewart is Chief Scientist for the Spectrum Warfare Systems Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana, where he has worked for 17 years. The Navy nominated Stewart for this award. He says he is flattered and humbled that Navy leadership felt he was a worthy candidate.
“And to be awarded by 15 Deans of Historically Black Colleges and University’s (HBCUs) is an honor and validation in a way,” says Stewart. “But, I’m product of my command and my education so I share this award with Purdue and I’m proud to represent this great institution and my graduate advisors.”
Stewart is also Chairman of the NATO Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) task group. He is the first black Department Chief Scientist, as well as the first black Department Chief Engineer at the command. Stewart received the award at the 2021 BEYA STEM Conference, which was held virtually Feb. 11-13, 2021.