ERDC associate technical director earns Black Engineer of the Year Award

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published Feb. 23, 2024
Vickey Moore, associate technical director in ERDC’s Information Technology Lab

Vickey Moore, associate technical director in ERDC’s Information Technology Lab

VICKSBURG, Miss. – Victoria “Vickey” Moore began her career at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) over 24 years ago as a computer scientist with a master’s degree from Mississippi State University. Today, she is the associate technical director of the Engineered Resilient Systems Research and Development Area in the Information Technology Lab (ITL). Moore was recently chosen to receive a Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) – awards that recognize African American scientists and engineers around the country who are shaping the future of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Moore was awarded the Modern-Day Technology Leader Award and said that she felt honored to be thought of as a technology leader, yet humbled and grateful.

“The award recognizes me; however, the team that I have worked with is world-class and achieving this award would not have been possible without them,” said Moore. “Without a doubt, the award is added assurance that our daily work choices and efforts are positively impacting ERDC’s mission in a way that merits national recognition.”

Moore has been a key player in ERDC’s ability to deliver solutions to some of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) most complex challenges. During her time as a researcher, she was involved with a program that focused on using high-fidelity modeling and simulation to predict threats to ground maneuver. Utilizing her technical background, she developed a software engineering methodology for the conceptual models.

“I was handed legacy code to maintain and, as a young engineer, that was difficult at times,” said Moore. “Being able to apply software engineering disciplines to ensure the next set of developers are well-equipped to maintain critical software systems was vital.”

“As a project manager, she led a $5 million annual research effort on a systematic study in ground mobility testing and evaluation, ground mobility modeling, and vehicle performance analysis, to support the U.S. military,” said Dr. David Pittman, director of the ERDC. “Vickey’s efforts have enabled ERDC to deliver trusted digital capabilities to accelerate solutions to complex challenges within DOD and USACE.”

When asked what keeps her motivated, Moore said, “My daily efforts are tied to the ERDC mission and values. The ERDC Way is the core of my thought processes, which helps me to focus on what’s most important.”

The ERDC Way is a comprehensive view of ERDC’s mission statement – discovering new ways to solve problems to make the world safer and better – including guiding principles and a blueprint for success.

“ERDC’s unique ability to provide career versatility and diversity has afforded me the opportunity to work with a world-class team, supporting the future of ERDC programs and associated research and development,” said Moore.

Moore’s love for STEM began to develop after her freshman year at Alcorn State University.  While she was visiting an uncle during a summer break, she met STEM professionals who provided her with the first-hand experience of programming software.

“This eye-opening moment helped to bridge the gap between my basic coding knowledge and real-world application,” said Moore. “When I registered for following semester, I was excited to change my major to computer science and applied mathematics.”

As a BEYA winner, Moore is also recognized for promoting diversity and inclusion in the STEM pipeline. She was instrumental in creating an employee resource group that identified ways to improve the ratio of male to female leaders. This group – named AWIL, which stands for Advancing Women in Leadership – is focused on uncovering barriers for women at ERDC, as well as mentoring those who aspire to become leaders. AWIL was created after ITL’s Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Awareness (IDEA) Council performed a study that found a lack of women in leadership roles at ERDC.

“We have received positive feedback from our forums and leadership sessions, and I foresee these and other efforts alike growing even more,” said Moore.

When asked if she had any advice for young African American people who might be interested in STEM, she said, “Why not be a part of shaping the future? If you are not sure how STEM impacts even you, try to imagine a world without it.”

“Moore is a respected computer scientist and has devoted time to mentoring junior computer scientists on various projects,” said Pittman. “Her efforts and leadership have created new capabilities within ERDC and DOD.”