Jennifer Brady

2020 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader

Engineer Mechanical 2
Newport News Shipbuilding

At Newport News Shipbuilding, we deliver quality ships that keep our service members safe and allow them to defend our freedom across the globe.  When your customer is the U.S. Navy, it’s difficult not to be passionate and have a great sense of pride in being a shipbuilder.

In her three years as a shipbuilder at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), Jennifer’s hard work has garnered the attention and recognition of leadership. In 2018, Jennifer distinguished herself further when she stepped out of her comfort zone on a temporary assignment with Nuclear Test Engineering. As part of a team responsible for completing a critical process onboard an aircraft carrier, Jennifer quickly picked up on process details and became a highly trusted resource despite not having any prior nuclear testing experience. Her duties required her to work independently, scoping out the facility and its onboard systems multiple times over a twelve-hour shift to ensure that equipment was operating within specifications and no hazardous conditions were occurring. She also directed qualified hourly personnel to perform required test procedures and assisted in onboard troubleshooting.

Despite numerous schedule delays beyond the team’s control, they completed the project on time and under budget and were recognized by NNS with the Excellence in Action (EIA) award. Jennifer also personally received a Timely Awards Plan (TAP) award for her vital role with the program.

As an engagement champion for her department, Jennifer is a professional resource and a torchbearer for initiatives that support team-building and employee growth. She is involved in the Engagement Champion BuildME team, which offers networking and development opportunities for NNS employees. She also is a mentor at NNS, helping individuals find out how they fit within the company’s overall strategy.

In addition to providing these support services within NNS, Jennifer currently serves as an “eMentor” through a program that pairs qualified individuals with elementary-school–aged children in low-income areas. This type of mentoring is very meaningful to Jennifer, who grew up in a low-income community without STEM mentors. She always wants to help children realize all the opportunities available to them.