Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played a critical role in developing talent. Mr. Earl Graves Jr, CEO of Black Enterprise Magazine, has also provided significant leadership in bringing together top students from HBCUs to participate in the annual BE Tech Connext Summit. He has worked successfully with corporate sponsors to foster a pipeline of technology talent. Among the schools in attendance to this year’s summit was Howard University. Often referred to as the Mecca, Howard has a long tradition of fostering talented students that make significant contributions to society. The new Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Achille Messac is poised to strengthen that tradition. He has three degrees from MIT and a deep passion for student success.
One of the future student technology moguls at Howard University’s College of Engineering Program is 18-year old David Hill, Jr. This young man entered Howard University at 16 years old, and has accomplished some really amazing things. A senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prize, Claes Nobel stated that, “I am proud to announce David has been selected to become a member of our esteemed organization as a national scholar.”
Throughout his career, he has interned at the technology giant Corning Incorporated where he successfully contributed to the software and modeling simulation group. He has performed research on global satellite systems for Leidos Corporation with Dr. Gedare Bloom; studied cyber security issues at Cisco Systems while interning on spring break at the former Sourcefire company that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $2.7 billion. This summer, David was tapped by United Technologies Corporation – Otis Elevator Vice President – Mr. Brad Sellick to work on the emerging IoT software development project that will digitally transform Otis Elevator. According to Mr. Sellick, “David exemplifies the values and traits that we look for in our engineering staff. He significantly contributed to our digital transformation initiative using Microsoft Azure IoT software and other software applications.”
“I greatly enjoyed engaging with industry leaders and learning about technology innovation at the BE Tech Connext Summit. The hack-a-thon was a great success,” said Hill. Toyota Corporation and AT&T were among many corporate sponsors. According to Bloomberg Technology News, “Toyota has pledged $1 billion in investment over five years toward an artificial intelligence and robotics institute that’s leading research efforts on areas including autonomous driving. The funding going to the Toyota Research Institute is equal to what the company spent developing the first Prius hybrid, President Akio Toyoda said during a speech at the Paris Motor Show last week.”
According to David Hill, “The purpose of our mobile application software during the hack-a-thon was to create an infotainment platform that would serves as a travel companion and enhance the artificial intelligence experience with automobiles. I learned that software technology can be used to increase market share and demand for products. Technology also has the ability to bridge the international cultural gap between millennials in America and Japan, because everybody likes food, music and entertainment. During my internship with United Technologies- Otis Elevator, I learned first-hand how technology will digitally transform all means of transportation from elevators to airplanes. It’s important to have the right technology partners in order to enable the digital transformation.”
For more details on the BE Tech Connext Summit, log on to www.blackenterprise.com/events/techconnext/