Meet our Northrop Grumman Future Technical Leaders
Senior Principal, Systems Engineer | FTL Class of 2022
Before Alex joined the company, she was deciding which direction to pursue within Aerospace. Alex desired to gain exposure to various technical domains, establish professional support networks, and develop both her soft and hard skills through on-the-job training. She aspired to fully immerse herself in these experiences by rotating into various domains, technical work areas, and geographic regions to develop a well-rounded perspective of her field, while at the same time, gaining exposure to others. The FTL program afforded her the chance to experience a diverse array of all of these things. Alex felt the FTL program would give her a phenomenal start to building a disruptive portfolio with technical capabilities applicable to a broad range of meaningful applications.
“I’m thrilled about earning the opportunity to play a part within the strategic leadership areas of the company, especially focusing on AI/ML within our Emerging Capabilities Development group. I’m also looking forward to my role leading research initiatives in an effort to convert fundamental research findings into revenue generating business opportunities that can innovate in the real economy. Lastly, I’m eager to continue expanding my professional network and contacts in order to learn more about and make meaningful contributions to new and exciting technical domains.”
Manager, Systems Engineer | FTL Class of 2020
Jeff’s academic background included experiences such as an internship in cyber and scholars program. When Jeff graduated with a doctorate in computer science, he sought a program that would continue the experience of a structured cohort to leverage shared knowledge. With the FTL program, Jeff found what he was looking for – a technical role where he can impact Northrop Grumman’s mission and be surrounded by like-minded individuals.
“FTL means responsibility. I mean that in a good way. To whom much is given, much is expected – there’s an expectation to give back. For me as an African-American male, it’s important for me to mentor and give back.”
Senior Principal, Systems Engineer | FTL Class of 2023
2022 Black Engineer of the Year Award Recipient, Modern Day Technology Leader
Before joining FTL, Kay led a design team and conducted design reviews for an Internal Research and Development program at Northrop Grumman. This experience was pivotal in preparing Kay for the FTL program and rotational assignments in leadership roles.
Kay’s participation at the company’s Technology Expo was an invaluable networking opportunity that provided him with new insight and perspective on critical mission challenges and how he can drive innovative solutions as a Future Technical Leader. Kay values the program’s exposure to technical experts and business leaders across the company which has been essential to his career development.
“I am very intrigued with the field of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the potential technology advancement we can leverage from this field. Through the various FTL program elements, I was exposed to ML and AI which allowed me to gain knowledge on the different programs, applications, and opportunities of ML and AI around the company. This experience allowed me to meet subject matter experts and colleagues that are interested in these areas. I plan to continue building my expertise so that I can apply my knowledge to the future of advanced technologies and solutions.”
Senior Staff, Cyber Architect | FTL Class of 2015
When an FTL Alumni Recruiter visited Kerry’s lab at George Mason University, he was immediately drawn to the opportunity to broaden his career path. Soon after graduating with his PhD in neuroscience, he joined Northrop Grumman and started his first rotation in personalized medicine. Over the course of his rotations, he quickly learned the fundamentals of program management and gained an understanding of the company’s strategic direction. The FTL program afforded these opportunities, as well as enhancing his leadership and accelerating his professional development.
“Trust in yourself. You can succeed in areas even when you are uncomfortable or don’t know a lot about something. If you’re interested, you can do it.”
Senior Principal, Modeling & Simulations Engineer | FTL Class of 2020
Before joining FTL, Margot was already working for the company on an Independent Research and Development project and her lead was an FTL alumni. Margot wanted the opportunity to gain broad exposure to the organization to determine the best career path for her – a technical or non-technical leadership role. The experiences, geographic rotations, and connections the FTL program provided were instrumental in helping her build a strong network and support team that connected Margot to meaningful opportunities. The program’s strategic approach helped Margot decide what roles would best enable her to make impactful contributions to the company.
“There’s no downside to the program. It’s what you want to make out of it and you can gain exposure to new opportunities with each rotation. Demonstrating the flexibility to learn will help you go far.“
Manager, Strategic Planning | FTL Class of 2020
With a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, Nikki assumed her career path was limited to working in a lab. Nikki was drawn to the FTL program because of the ability to rotate throughout the company and gain experiences in a variety of domains. During her rotations, Nikki supported initiatives such as modernizing IT infrastructure in Maryland to establishing a technical baseline of a program capture in Alabama. Upon completion of the FTL program, Nikki accepted a position with the Analysis and Technology Center in corporate Strategy and Development where she will focus on the analysis of key long term national security issues to support company portfolio shaping and investment strategy.
“I’m three years into my career at Northrop Grumman and it would have taken me 20 years elsewhere to experience the opportunities and exposures that I’ve had. You can experience so much that the company offers, everything from geographic regions, cultures/people, program, processes, domains, technology, etc.”
Senior Principal, Systems Engineer | FTL Class of 2022
SaBra joined Northrop Grumman and quickly applied after learning about this prestigious program. FTL aligned with her long-term career plan of staying in a technical field and provided the support to propel SaBra into becoming a chief architect or engineer. FTL allows immersion into experiences where the participant may have no prior experience, but has the passion and desire to learn.
“The FTL program put me in a position to move up quickly through the company. It was validating to be placed on higher profile projects that would have been more difficult to get into if I wasn’t in the program.”
Manager, Strategic Planning | FTL Class of 2021
Sarat wanted to be a part of a program that creates the next generation of leaders within the company. After joining Northrop Grumman, he applied to FTL because he liked the idea of bringing people and ideas together at a fast pace. As a FTL, Sarat thrived under the pressure to maintain high performing results with the increased responsibilities.
“To me personally, it’s an investment that the company is making in me to encourage me to go out of my comfort zone to learn, and consistently make a return. The program sets you up to become an effective leader.”
Consulting, Systems Engineer | FTL Class of 2014
Wayne completed the Future Technical Leaders program in 2014, and attributes his professional success to the exposure he received as an FTL. After learning about the program from a friend, he decided to apply because of Northrop Grumman’s emphasis on exploration. Wayne felt valued because of his degree and academic achievements. With the support of the FTL program, Wayne gained exposure to diverse cultures, projects, and locations.
“Northrop Grumman is a very large company…. And, if you like learning and curiosity is important to you, then you should really join the FTL program so that you can navigate around the company, seek out its best parts, and then determine where it is you want to make your name.”