In February 2017, Raye J. Montague, RPE was recognized on “Good Morning America” for her work as a pioneering scientist. She was not only the first woman to design a U.S. Naval ship using a computer, or the first African American to do so, she was the first PERSON to do so.
She began a career in Washington, DC with the United States Navy in 1956 and retired in 1990 after serving in numerous leadership roles during her tenure of thirty-three and one-half years. Her work designing the FFG-7 Class in the early 1970s revolutionized naval ship design. She also served as the first female Program Manager of Ships in the US Navy and was the first female professional engineer to receive the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Achievement Award.
Throughout her career she received many honors, and was often the first woman of any race to achieve statuses in the engineering profession.
In 2006, she returned to Arkansas. She is involved with numerous civic activities including mentoring students in the sciences at UA Little Rock and also eStem Public Charter School. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dr. Montague died in October 2018. She will posthumously receive the Fribourgh Award from UA Little Rock later in 2019. In her honor, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. declared today (March 28, 2019) as Dr. Raye Jean Montague Day.