Thursday March 24, 2016

Chris T. Jones '91

Pay attention to the toys you play with as a child — they may just illuminate your career path. For Chris Jones, it was model airplanes. “Airplanes and aerospace were in my blood,” said Jones, who served 29 years in the military thanks to a service path laid by his father and three older brothers. His work in the military focused on defense. At one point, his way was very focused. “While I was in college, I worked at Aberdeen Proving Ground ... and one of my jobs was to deploy semi-active landmines and then walk through the landmine field to determine what would detonate them,” he said. “That’s a very good summer intern job, but it taught me to be very humble.” Jones told that story at the awards ceremony where he received the 2016 Black Engineer of the Year Award from U.S. Black Engineer magazine and BEYA. He served in both the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, and while stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force based earned master’s degrees in aerospace engineering and engineering management from UD. His civilian career path has also focused on defense. Jones is corporate vice president for Northrop Grumman’s technology services sector. Previously, he worked as part of the team on the Hawkeye early-warning aircraft; now, part of his job includes overseeing the team developing the new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. He said he credits student and professional engineering organizations for his successes. “I’m a product of what’s really good about this country,” Jones said, also noting the people in his life who’ve supported and guided him. That includes family, whom he remembers each time he steps on an airplane. He sends his mom and aunts postcards every trip he takes — almost 50 a year.

—Shelby Quinlivan ’06

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