Huntsville Center Engineer recognized for STEM performance

Huntsville Center Public Affairs
Published March 11, 2024
Two men standing with Curtney Walters.

Wade Doss, left, Engineering Directorate chief, and Chad House, right, Facilities & Systems Sustainment Branch chief, join Curtney Walters, Huntsville Center project engineer, after Walters received a Modern-Day Technology Leader award for demonstrating outstanding performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the 2024 Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference in Baltimore, Md.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- An engineer with the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville was recognized in February at the 2024 Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference in Baltimore, Md. 

Curtney Walters received a Modern-Day Technology Leader award for demonstrating outstanding performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Walters is a project engineer supporting Defense Logistics Agency fuels storage and infrastructure. He ensures proper operations and maintenance is performed on Department of Defense fuels systems in support of national defense and security.

Chad House, Huntsville Center Engineering Directorate Facilities & Systems Sustainment Branch chief, nominated Walters for the award.

Upon learning he was nominated for a BEYA award, Walters said he was extremely excited and yet deeply humbled.

“To be recognized for all my contributions to the Army Corps of Engineers is truly a blessing,” Walters said. “Giving your best in everything you do can indeed lead to remarkable outcomes transcending all barriers. I am more inspired to continue to strive for excellence in all my endeavors and hope this will inspire other minority engineers to be everything you are.”

House said success in Walters’ position is incumbent upon having excellent skills in communication, leadership, management, organization, and a broad base technical knowledge of a multitude of engineering fields.

“Curtney is not only expected to provide expertise in his discipline as a civil engineer, but he must support all needs of the systems, whether mechanical, electrical, environmental, etc., to ensure continued operations,” House said.

House said one of the features setting Walters apart from his peers is his unique approach to problem-solving.

“He thinks outside the box and comes up with innovative solutions others may not have considered. Whether it’s tackling a complex technical challenge or navigating a difficult interpersonal situation, Curtney brings a fresh perspective and a creative energy to everything he does.”

In addition to his creativity and ingenuity, House said Walters is an exceptional leader.

“He has a natural ability to inspire and motivate others and is always willing to lend a helping hand and provide mentorship and guidance to others. He communicates effectively with individuals at all levels of an organization and is adept at building strong relationships with colleagues, stakeholders, and partners.”

A native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Walters developed a love for building and construction while working on different projects with his father, a teacher and part-time tile contractor.

Although he grew up enjoying the beaches and all island life had to offer, Walters’ path has at times been a difficult journey filled with obstacles.

“Coming from a household of working parents with limited income to share among myself and three siblings, the struggle to finance my education almost derailed my dreams of becoming an engineer,” Walters said.

During his freshman year of college, all available funds were exhausted. Though his parents tried their best to help, the money simply wasn’t there, and he had no choice but to withdraw from school.

However, his desire to learn and the work ethic he had been exposed to at home, wouldn’t let him give up on his dream.

“I took multiple semesters off and used the time to formulate plans to save money, reduce expenses, and apply for grants and scholarships,” Walters said.

“I changed universities, took community college-level courses, stayed off campus and even worked during Christmas and spring breaks, to afford the opportunity to get an education and obtain my degree.”

After receiving his degree from Alabama A&M University, he was hired in 2006 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District where he worked for 13 years as a Project Engineer at the Redstone Arsenal.

His projects included construction of many administrative and research facilities for the Army, Air Force, and the Missile Defense Agency. His most notable project was completed for NASA, building the $75 million Test Stands, including two test towers later to be used to analyze complex load combinations on the nitrogen and oxygen tanks for the Space Launch System.

In 2019, Walters accepted a position at Huntsville Center supporting the Center’s Fuels Program.

Wade Doss, Huntsville Center Engineering Directorate chief, said Walters is a worthy recipient of the Professional Achievement (BEYA) award.

“In addition to his technical skills and leadership abilities, Curtney is also deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the engineering field,” Doss said.

“He has been actively involved in several initiatives to support and mentor underrepresented groups in STEM, and we have no doubt that he will continue to make a positive impact in this area.”