Lawanda Penland: Reasons for Choosing STEM as a Profession


Lawanda Penland is the Deputy Program Manager for Improved Thermal Sight System (ITSS) program within Combat Systems, a product line of Network Centric Systems (NCS). She is a participant of the NCS Cross Functional Rotation Program (CFRP). She was selected to be a participant of this program in January 2010. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2011 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 71,000 people worldwide.

In her current role Penland reports to the Improved Thermal Sighted Systems (ITSS) senior Program Manager and the NCS Regional Program Leader for the Southwest region. Penland has cost, schedule and technical performance responsibility for 3 Tier 5 contracts on the ITSS program valued at over $21M.

Penland joined Raytheon in 1999 as a Software Engineer supporting the validation and verification of Raytheon’s Y2K compliance. She has held a wide range of growth positions since that time including Design Team Lead, Logistics Engineer, Software Systems Engineer, Texas Regional Engineering and Strategic Staffing Lead.

Penland also has worked internationally for Raytheon on the eBorders program in the United Kingdom. For this effort, she served as the Deputy Technical Subcontracts Manager, acting as a liaison addressing financial impact and design concerns.

In her previous rotations she reported to the Vice President of NCS International Business Development & Marketing (IBD&M) where she managed the $5M IBD&M budget, supported Capture Management teams and managed the development of the new NCS interactive marketing tool. She also served as the Operations Manager for Improved Target Acquisitions Systems (ITAS) Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) spares contract and served as the Cost Account Manager for a $70M budget.

Penland actively supports many professional and community activities. She is a member of the Leadership Frisco class of 2008. Her leadership skills and engineering expertise were essential in the creation of Mindbender Academy, Frisco’s first math, science, engineering and technology academy for middle school students. In 2004, she was highlighted for career success, in Aerospace and Defense, in the Black Collegian Magazine. She was the recipient of a 2005 Special Recognition Award for Black Engineer of the Year Award for Most Promising Engineer, a Raytheon Science and Technology Achievement Recognition (STAR) Award and in 2008 a National Women of Color Award for Rising All STAR. Most recently she was recognized for exhibiting NCS business values within the EDGE framework.

Penland earned a bachelor degree in Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999. She has performed graduate studies in Software Engineering at Southern Methodist University. She has continued her technical knowledge growth through seminars, conferences, & technical training.


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