Howard Jones, engineer of excellence


Howard Jones Jr.
Date: 
Thu, 1921-08-18

*Howard St. Claire Jones, Jr. was born on this date in 1921. He was an African American engineer.

One of three children Jones grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He stayed in his hometown to go to Virginia Union University, where he graduated in 1943 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics. After college, he moved to Washington, D. C. to be a government engineer. He came to Howard University’s government training program as a junior engineer and took a job at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS).

In 1944 while in the Army, Jones taught basic mechanical-engineering courses to commission and noncommissioned officers. He returned to the NBS in 1946 as an electronic physicist. The NBS became the Harry Diamond Laboratory. As an electronic engineer, this was the premier research lab during much of Jones' 37-year career there. He was chief of the lab's microwave research and development branch developing his inventions. In 1972, he was named Inventor of the Year and has received numerous honors for his achievements.

Jones was elected into the National Academy of Engineers and the International Biographical Center cited him as one of 2,000 outstanding scientists of the 20th century for his contributions in the field of microwave engineering research and development. Jones has 31-patented inventions. He designed radar fuse antennas critical for the operation of several Army missiles during the Cold War years. Jones also helped in the development of U. S. space vehicles and was twice awarded the Civilian Service Award.

He received his master's degree in electronic engineering from Bucknell University and honorary doctorates from Virginia Union and Trinity College. He was also named a fellow in several professional associations, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. After retiring in 1980, he was a consultant, lectured at universities and colleges across the country encouraging others, particularly minority students, to pursue careers in engineering.

He lived in Washington, D. C. with his wife Evelyn for many years. Howard Jones died on February 26, 2005.

Reference:
The Associated Press
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