Sierra Leonean native and U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) assistant public works officer at the Washington Navy Yard, Lt. Timothy Horton has been selected as the 2023 United States Most Promising Engineer in Government by the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
The BEYA STEM is an annual award that recognizes the United State’s best and brightest engineers, scientists, and technology experts in private and nonprofit sectors and higher education fields.
Horton takes pride in claiming the award, looking back at where he came from, Sierra Leone, a small country in West Africa. He said that receiving such an honor means a lot to his career.
“For a young man from a small country in Africa to be awarded the Most Promising Engineer in Government nationwide is a big deal,” said Lt. Timothy Horton.
Horton is a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering graduate from Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone. He also holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Los Angeles.
Upon graduation, he started working as a mechanical maintenance and planning engineer for Sierra Rutile, where he was also an instructor for different engineering topics. He started his Navy career after he was enlisted as a gas turbine system technician serving aboard USS Anzio in September 2011. Later in January 2014, he received his commission as a Civil Engineer Corps officer.
The engineer actively holds community engagements to promote STEM programs. In 2018, he taught mathematics to 25 school-aged children on a weekly basis during his military deployment to Micronesia.
According to the U.S. Army media outlet DVIDS, Horton oversees the life cycle facilities management of the oldest United States Navy installation, supporting 18,000 military, civilian, and contractor personnel on 75 acres of land with 4.6 million square feet of facility space. He is responsible for the reliability of 130 facilities totaling USD 2.3 billion in plant replacement value and whose average building age is 96 years old.
Horton and team also successfully completed a USD 45 million renovation of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Naval History and Research Center on the Washington Navy Yard. This was one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken to preserve the Navy’s history.
However, he is serving as an inspiration to many Sierra Leoneans and beyond. He encourages everyone interested in the engineering career field to work on their soft skills, prioritize working relationships and understand the big picture.
“Always communicate up, down, and across the chain of command, and build working relationships and rapport with others long before you need their help and support. The engineering part is relatively easier,” said Lt. Timothy Horton.
Horton will receive his award as 2023 Most Promising Engineer in Government on February 9-11 2023, during the 37th annual BEYA STEM Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland.