Andrews Engineer dubbed 'Engineer of the Year'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lindsey A. Beadle
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
Michael Butts, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical engineering technician, was recently recognized by US Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine as the Engineer of the Year for Modern Day Technology Leaders. Butts, who managed the cost estimates and electrical power capabilities for Joint Base Andrews's multi-million-dollar West Runway Project, is no stranger to working hard for his accolades.

After joining the Air Force in 1973 and working as a nuclear weapons specialist for 12 years, Butts decided to retrain as an electrician in 1986.

"I retrained into the electrical field because I wanted to continue doing what my dad had been training me to do since I was six," said Butts. "I was assigned to Andrews in May of 1986, where I worked as a power production manager in what was then the 1776th Civil Engineering Squadron."

In 1994, Butts retired from the Air Force and was rehired by the Andrews engineering squadron as a construction inspector. Learning from the example set by his father before him; Butts devotedly accomplished his tasks and never faltered in his job performance at Andrews. This dedication and commitment to his work, and his personal initiative to improve the functionality of electricity on Andrews, earned Butts a promotion and the title of engineer technician in 2003.

Achieving these goals, along with a steadfast work ethic, helped pull Butts away from the herd and distinguished himself as a leader among his squadron members. In 2006, Butts was awarded the 316th Civil Engineer Squadron's Engineer of the Year award.

"I've had the pleasure of working with Mr. Butts for ten years," said Rick Wilson, 11 CES project manager and supervisor to Butts. "When Mike is assigned a task, you know it is going to get done - correctly and on time. The combination of his knowledge of his career field and the initiative he has to tackle anything that he is assigned makes him an invaluable employee."
Despite his extensive career knowledge and job-related accomplishments, Butts remains humble about his achievements, choosing to focus more on the individuals who have helped him achieve his goals than on himself.

"I give special thanks to those military and civilian electrical shop workers, working behind the scenes; they are the hard workers maintaining and keeping reliable electrical power throughout Andrews - I couldn't have done my job without them," said Butts. "My father also has been a great influence on my life and my career as an electrician. I am extremely honored in having achieved this award. Having won this distinction, and having done so during Black History Month, reminds me especially of my father and the sacrifices he's made for me and for this career as a whole. He was a pioneer for Black electricians in the 1940's as a master electrician in Virginia."