Raye Montague, Navy’s ‘Hidden Figure’ RIP 2018

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Raye Montague, Navy’s ‘Hidden Figure’ RIP 2018

Post by koimaster » September 3rd 2019, 9:12am

During World War II, when Raye Montague was 7 and growing up in Arkansas, her grandfather took her to see a traveling exhibit of a German submarine that had been captured off the coast of South Carolina. She was enchanted.

“I looked through the periscope and saw all these dials and mechanisms,” she recalled years later. “And I said to the guy, ‘What do you have to know to do this?’ ”

His response: “Oh, you’d have to be an engineer, but you don’t have to worry about that.”

The clear implication was that as a black girl she could never become an engineer, let alone have anything to do with such a vessel.

She would go on to prove him very wrong.

The girl who faced racism and sexism in the segregated South, where she rode in the back of the bus and was denied entry to a college engineering program because she was black, became an internationally registered professional engineer and shattered the glass ceiling at the Navy when she became the first female program manager of ships. She earned the civilian equivalent of the rank of captain.
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In a breakthrough achievement, she also revolutionized the way the Navy designed ships and submarines using a computer program she developed in the early 1970s.

It would have normally taken two years to produce a rough design of a ship on paper, but during the heat of the Vietnam War Ms. Montague was given one month to design the specifications for a frigate. She did it in 18 hours and 26 minutes.

At the height of her career, she was briefing the Joint Chiefs of Staff every month and teaching at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Many of her ship designs are still in use.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/obit ... VAR4LK7DKA


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