The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Tamara Y. Crawford

Tamara Y. Crawford

Tamara Y. Crawford
Systems Engineer Asc. Manager
Lab Hardware IFG Systems Integration Labs (SILs)
Labs & Technical Services
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Biography : Tamara Crawford is the associate manager for the Lab Hardware Integrated Fighter Group (IFG) Systems Integration Labs (SILs) which is comprised of the F-16, F-2, FA-50 and F-22 aircraft platforms. In this role, Crawford is responsible for managing members of the IFG SILs and focusing on the hardware design and integration for the various IFG projects. Additionally, Crawford is responsible for overseeing the cost, schedule and technical risks needed to maintain total system effectiveness and conceptual conversion.

Prior to her ascension into leadership, Crawford was part of the highly selective Advanced Technical Leadership Program (ATLP) which shapes high-performing engineers to become future technical leaders of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Currently assigned as a quality assurance engineer sr., functioning in the role of supplier development integrator, she is responsible for supplier development improvements regarding supplier work product quality and product performance for the C-130, C-5, P-3, F-16, F-22 and F-35 programs on behalf of the Supplier Quality Management (SQM) organization. Her previous ATLP rotational assignment as a senior manufacturing engineer resulted in record-making current production cost savings (HPUs) for the F-35 Flight Line/Delivery Operations.

Crawford began her career in 2003 on the F-35 Lightning II Program as a systems engineer in Prognostics & Health Management (PHM). Less than two years later she was selected as one of three young engineers to participate in the company's inaugural F-35 Mass Properties Engineering Cross-Training Initiative. Impressed by her work she was asked to officially join the team prior to completing the cross-training assignment. While on the team she performed mass properties analysis for the Wing, Forward Fuselage, Mission Systems and Weapons Integration.

In 2008 she joined the F-22 Mass Properties team where she performed mass properties (weight and balance) analysis for F-22 production, modification, and flight test programs to optimize aircraft performance. While on the team she was selected as the executive/technical officer for F-22 Modernization. During her time in this special role, she led an acquisition study for F-22 labs which resulted in $11M in savings.

In 2011, Crawford became lead systems engineer for the F-22 Production Shutdown Execution (FW) and was ultimately responsible for overseeing all tasks related to this effort for the Fort Worth site and ensuring all necessary teams were engaged to ensure ultimate success. The work led by Crawford saved more than $1M, and was used as a template for not only the Georgia and California Lockheed Martin Aeronautics sites for the F-22 Production Shutdown Execution, but in the future, her work will serve as a blueprint for other platforms and members of industry on how to successfully dismantle a production line, preserve and store its necessary components for future use.

In 2013, Crawford's expertise was sought after again for another unique challenge. The legacy F-16 and F-22 Programs had now merged into the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group (IFG) platform, but the tasks of consistent Earned Value Management reporting metrics had not. She created a common structure for IFG and developed the IFG CAM eNotebook Population Guidance for clear directives for IFG CAMs regarding requirements and actions to update Earned Value data for assigned control accounts in accordance to program business rhythms. As the F-16/F-22 IFG CAM eNotebook Integrator her efforts resulted in recertification of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' Fort Worth Earned Value Management System and saved an average of 2 man-weeks per month for IFG CAMs. The eNotebook also became a best practice across all Lockheed Martin Aeronautics programs (incorporated into AeroCode: AC-7431).

In less than 13 years, Crawford has garnered both experience and success in engineering, production, program management, project management, and quality. She earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and a master's degree in systems engineering from Southern Methodist University (SMU). Additionally, she received the 2016 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Special Recognition Award for Career Achievement; 2014 BEYA Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award; 2009 Women of Color Technology Rising Star Award; and she was awarded multiple times for The President's Volunteer Service Award. She was also inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame as the 2009 Outstanding Young Alumni of the Year.

While achievement and leading ground-breaking tasks are a consistent theme, so is encouraging youth to embrace opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Crawford serves on Ole Miss Engineering Advisory Board and has an open invitation to lecture annually at the dean of engineering's leadership and professionalism class. She also serves as the Lockheed Martin representative on the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) Board of Directors which encourages and prepares Texas K-12 students, specifically minorities and girls who are underrepresented in these fields to excel in STEM. Tamara was the event coordinator for the TAME Statewide STEM competitions hosted and sponsored by Lockheed Martin in 2014 and 2015 where each year 300+ middle and high school students competed in math and science tests and an engineering design challenge.