Wayne Snodgrass (’61) of Annapolis, Md. has been elected chair of the ECE Advisory Board. Snodgrass is recently retired from Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems Sector, where he served as the sector’s vice president of Engineering and Manufacturing.
Snodgrass spent the 42 years of his corporate career in the defense industry, with experience in under seas, surface seas, land, air, and space systems.
Before moving to Maryland, he was president of Northrop Grumman’s Norden Systems in Norwalk, Conn, involved in surveillance and ground moving target indications, imaging, and tracking. Earlier positions included vice president of Antisubmarine Warfare and Ship Systems (Baltimore) and vice president of the Naval Systems Division (Cleveland).
He was general manager of the Westinghouse Naval Systems when the end of the Cold War suddenly changed the market and forced an entrepreneurial direction for the country’s largest supplier of undersea weapon systems. His team tapped the creative suggestions of employees and was able to develop new products and services that capitalized on dual-use technologies. This team won Industry Week’s Best Plants Award and the government’s SBA Eisenhower Award.
Earlier in his career, Snodgrass worked for Gould Inc., serving as vice president and general manager of the Ocean Systems Division. He also held management and technical positions with McDonnell Douglas Missiles and Space Division.
Snodgrass is on the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. He is a life member of the National Defense Industry Association and a life member of the Navy League. He is also a member of the Association of Old Crows, an organization of government, industry and university representatives working to reduce defense spending through the use of electronic technologies. He also recently served on Virginia’s Institute for Defense and Homeland Security advisory board.
He earned BS degrees in both electrical and industrial engineering from Virginia Tech and pursued graduate studies in business and engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the University of Southern California.
“I have been blessed and lucky to have had a career that was fun and challenging at every turn,” Snodgrass said. Although much of his career was in management instead of hands-on engineering, he was always responsible for engineering functions. “My engineering degree opened up all of these possibilities,” he explained. “My background in both electrical and industrial engineering helped me understand the engineering principles involved and my business education created a neat combination that prepared me for those challenges.”