Heritage Month Spotlight: Al Williams, Harris Corp.

To highlight the talented and diverse workforce in aerospace & defense, we’re telling the stories of individuals within our member companies throughout 2019’s heritage months.

A&D features some of the best talent across the country, and remains an industry focused on becoming more inclusive and more innovative. Follow along to learn the stories of some of the incredible women and men shaping our industry and our world.

Al Williams
Senior Specialist
Mechanical Engineer
SIS, Herndon, VA

Describe your role and job responsibilities at Harris.

As a mechanical engineer, I design electronic packaging that contains sensitive electronic and optical devices for Harris’ Proprietary customers. Throughout the entire product development lifecycle, I am responsible for using Harris’ defined development processes and verifying the overall mechanical design meets our customer’s requirements while interfacing with other engineering disciplines, support staff and vendors.

What is your educational background and career experience?

I have Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from George Washington University. My career experience includes working at Lockheed Martin for 10 years supporting programs for the Department of Defense, Navy, Air Force, and Army customers. I have experience in mechanical design, environmental and systems testing, project management and proposal support.

What is on your bucket list?

My bucket list includes travelling to Ghana and Bermuda, starting a small organic pig farm, and growing black walnut and pecan trees.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The opportunity to work with a team of exceptional engineers and solving difficult challenges for our Proprietary customers is definitely the most rewarding part of my job. Adequate training provided from our department’s training budget, lunch and learns, after hours voluntary training, and other Harris engineering internal resources provide me significant opportunities to grow my engineering skills while helping me tackle our customer’s challenges. Other rewarding aspects of my job include supporting the growth of our Herndon facility by getting involved with our ERGs, morale committee and PEER programs.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month means taking time to recognize the contributions and achievements of African-Americans. It’s great revisiting these contributions and achievements because they provide exemplary examples of personal and professional excellence to follow. These contributions and achievements deliver renewed inspiration and make it possible to know what is achievable when faced with tough obstacles.