American giant aircraft maker, Boeing, has nominated a Tanzanian, George Jones, for the prestigious US Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) 2019 Awards, citing Mr Jones’ exceptional team leadership and safety management skills.
Boeing’s Executive Leader in-charge of the BEYA awards, Pat Cazeau, described the 38 year old Mr Jones to the selection committee as a gifted team leader who never surrenders until he finds solutions to his team’s engineering problems, while putting his team safety first.
According to Mr Pat, “these qualities have resulted in Mr Jonas being selected as the company FAA [Federal Aviation Administration of the United States] authorized representative in training’.
Mr Jones joined Boeing in 2011 and was part of the company’s team that built Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. Before joining Boeing, he was an employee at Bombadier, where he was recognized for his outstanding contribution to the Bombadier Learjet Strategic Transformation Project in 2009.
BEYA is one of the largest gatherings in the US dedicated to increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The 2018 Black Engineer of the Year Award was be presented to Alicia Boler Davis, Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing, General Motors. A pioneering automotive executive, Boler Davis is being recognized for outstanding achievements in STEM.
Mr Jones did his primary education in Ubungo’s NHC Primary School and his secondary education in Azania Secondary School in Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam. He later moved to Arusha, Tanzania where he completed his high school at Ilboni High School before leaving for the US for a part-time job. While in the US, he gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with a minor in Mathematics at Wichita State University. He also has a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington.
In December 2016, Boeing and the United Republic of Tanzania confirmed an order for one 787-8 Dreamliner, valued at $224.6 million at list prices, for the rejuvenated Air Tanzania. Speaking after the delivery of the aircraft in May 2018, Ladislaus Matindi, CEO of Air Tanzania said ‘We are very proud to take delivery of this Boeing 787 Dreamliner’. ‘We believe this is the perfect aircraft to realize our ambition to connect with the rest of the world through the initiation of intercontinental flights. I am delighted to be here today with Boeing and Rolls-Royce to celebrate this important milestone’.
While Mr Jones nomination reflects this outstanding performance at Boeing, it may also reflect Boeing’s strategy to develop better relations with Tanzania. The country’s main career, Air Tanzania, has recorded one of the fastest revenue growth in the flight market in East Africa and is likely to order more planes in the coming years as to compete with regional giant, Kenya Airways and serve more flight routes.