Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Engineer Dwayne Nelson received the Community Service Award at the 2017 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Awards event, a ceremony often referred to as “the Oscars of the STEM industry.”
The engineer was honored for his commitment to improving society. For example, Nelson spearheaded the National Society of Black Engineer Potomac River Professional Chapter’s engagement in more than 70 programs, promoting technical excellence among young professionals, as well as advancing the chapter’s involvement in educational programs for middle and high school students. Nelson’s also been involved in other charitable, service-oriented programs, including A Walk for Education, Habitat for Humanity, United Way Day of Caring, Adopt-a-Highway, Back to School Supply Drives, and Collegiate Mentorship Programs, and he has established an annual STEM Innovators Scholarship to help high school seniors finance their college education.
Nelson was nominated for the award by a commanding officer of NSWCDD. In the letter, the officer wrote, “Through his hundreds of hours of technical outreach community help, principally focused on the advancement of STEM among minority community members, he has developed partnerships with local schools and agencies to give back to the community.” The letter continues, “For example, Mr. Nelson’s leadership and passion for the community led to a partnership with the local King George Family YMCA to host a 5K run-walk fundraiser with the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle, while using STEM principles to assist in improving participant’s health and wellness.”
As the deputy information officer of two NSWCDD technical departments, Nelson supervises a mixed government and contractor team that operates large computer networks.
Nelson has dual bachelor’s degrees in applied mathematics, from Morris College in Sumter, S.C., and in computer and electrical engineering, from North Carolina A&T State University. He also graduated with a master’s degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, V.A.