Boeing Employees Receive National Recognition

Three Boeing employees recently received national awards in their respective fields, two in engineering and one in human resources. Carlton Holmes and Waymon Whiting both won awards at the 1998 Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference in Baltimore, Md., in February, and Santos Contreras received the President's Award at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference in October, 1997 at Houston, Texas.

The Black and Hispanic Engineer of the Year Awards recognize the contributions of the nation's top African Americans and Hispanics in engineering, science and technology who show outstanding leadership and technological achievement in their specialties.

Holmes, a senior principal engineer in the Structures Stress and Fatigue Analysis group in Seattle, received the prestigious Professional Achievement award. He has 32 years experience in engineering, structural analysis and design of aircraft and ground support equipment, and has worked for the Federal Aviation Administration, The Rho Company in Redmond, and General Dynamics. He began his career at Boeing in 1965 and remained with the company until 1971. He returned to the company in 1986.

His work on the structural design of Boeing airplanes has taken him all over the world to work with customers. His expertise in the Post Production Aging Fleet organization has helped him push for industry acceptance and support of aging airplane initiatives.

Holmes currently leads a team of technicians which provides engineering support to airlines, and is a designated Boeing representative to the FAA responsible for fleet support of 707, 720 and 727 airplanes. He holds a master's in Science Civil Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

Whiting, Payloads Systems chief engineer for the 767-400 Extended Range program, received the Lifetime Achievement award. He has worked in interior aircraft systems for the 707, 727, 747 and 767 during his more than 40-year career at Boeing.

He began in 1956 as an engineer responsible for preliminary development of the interiors system on the first 707, and developed the first automatically deployed escape slide for the 707 and 727, which became the standard on all large commercial jets. In the early 1960s, Whiting was involved in developing a unique interior for the 707 presidential aircraft used during the Kennedy administration. He then moved into product development with the 747, where he developed criteria with the FAA to establish another industry standard - an evacuation procedure for more than 500 passengers to leave an aircraft in 90 seconds or less.

In his present job, Whiting is responsible for Payloads Systems for the 767-400ER interiors. This includes ensuring the certification of the new interiors with the FAA and other international regulatory agencies and meeting the demands of Boeing customers.

Contreras, director of Union Relations - SPEEA, is responsible for union contract administration and negotiations with the Seattle Professional Engineering Employees Association (SPEEA) which represents 27,000 Boeing engineers and technical employees. Contreras was also a driving force behind the creation of the Boeing Technical Fellowship program, which recognizes engineering excellence within the company. A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Contreras graduated from Seattle University with a business degree and subsequently joined Boeing in 1960 as a personnel representative. The award he received from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference recognizes those individuals who impact change and act as role models in science and engineering. It is only the third time a non-engineer has received the prestigious President's award.