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Alumnus Profile: Christopher T. Jones

Alumnus Profile: Christopher T. Jones

What's flying with Dr. Jones? Visit go.umd.edu/swarm to watch a video. Photo by John Consoli.
What's flying with Dr. Jones? Visit go.umd.edu/swarm to watch a video. Photo by John Consoli.

UMD DEGREE: Ph.D. '97, Aerospace Engineering
OCCUPATION: Corporate Vice President, Northrop Grumman and President, Northrop Grumman Technology Services

When Christopher Jones joined the Clark School as a Ph.D. student, he already was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force with two master's degrees under his belt.

What initially attracted him to the University of Maryland was its highly ranked Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center.

"I was working on missiles and space, and wanted to do something different in aerospace," he said. Specifically, he chose the Clark School to research helicopter flight dynamics.

Though he carried a heavy research load as a Ph.D. student, Jones made time for community outreach with elementary school students and tutored undergraduates through organizations such as the Clark School's Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He was driven to help others because of the rigors he had been through with his earlier degrees. Moreover, he believes engineers should pay forward assistance they received during their studies. In his commencement speech to the Clark School Class of 2016, Jones urged the graduates to do the same.

A big reason Jones was able to volunteer was the financial assistance he received from the Clark School and the National Science Foundation. Because he did not need to work while a student, he could instead spend his available time sharing his love of engineering. It's also why Jones stays connected to the Clark School and gives back as an alumnus.

"People had to have given money for me to have gotten a scholarship. Somehow, somewhere, someone gave money and that ended up in my pocket," Jones said. "Anyone who donated to me, I give back."

He also gives his time by mentoring students and alumni, as well as serving on the Clark School Board of Visitors.

His participation as an alumnus is not just personal, but also practical. His employer, Northrop Grumman, hires a lot of Clark School graduates. Still, his affinity for the Clark School is primarily personal and in gratitude for the financial support that enabled his doctorate.

"If [Clark School Dean] Darryll Pines asks me to do something, I'm there. Whenever someone from Maryland asks me to do to something, I try and do it," Jones said.

Related Articles:
Clark School Honors Distinguished Members of Engineering Community
Alumnus Natalie Hagan Receives Advocating Women in Engineering Award from SWE
To the Stars: UMD Alumna to Be First African-American Crew Member on the International Space Station
Alumna Naomi Leonard wins Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize
Olusola-Ajayi to Deliver Student Speech for Clark School Spring Commencement
Alum Xiaobo Tan named 'Foundation Professor' at Michigan State
Alum Himanshu Tyagi joins Indian Institute of Science
Alum Haoyu Wang joins Shanghai Tech University
University of Maryland Establishes Orbital Debris Research Center
Alum Jason Li promoted to VP of Research and Development at Intelligent Automation, Inc.

May 23, 2017


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