Rising Technical Contributor Award

Elise Hough

Northrop Grumman Corporation

For a high level of technical skill and leadership in the Strike Engineering Program; for developing structural analysis methods used as a standard resource; and for mentoring incoming stress engineers.

Elise Hough is a principal structural engineer at the Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence supporting B-2 and classified programs within the Strike Organization of Northrop Grumman. Hough works with the newest technologies, manufacturing techniques, and analysis methodologies in advanced composite aircraft structures. This job requires designing and analyzing novel rework solutions to complex problems requiring extensive detailed analysis.

When Hough first joined Northrop Grumman, she supported the design and analysis of the B-2 Defense Management System Modernization design review. She was responsible for the stress analysis to substantiate the new secondary structure being added to support the subsystems required for the advanced capabilities. She supported this effort from the preliminary design review through the critical design review phases.

Because of security requirements, however, technical data were not available to Hough and her team. Hough developed an innovative analysis method to achieve the desired outcome. Hough made a structural finite element model that provided the necessary missing values for sizing the substructure of the B-2 installation. She presented to the U.S. Air Force reviewers at the critical design review stage, successfully defending the analysis methods she developed.

She later transitioned to the Strike Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) production line as a material review board (MRB) structural engineer on a classified program. MRB is a multidisciplinary group of specialists who collaborate to qualify repairs to a vehicle while in production. In this role, Hough analyzed practical hand calculations of static, durability, and damage tolerance of metallic and composite structures, and subsystem installations. While working with the EMD team, she discovered there were no program standards for analyses methods. She documented her analysis approaches, assumptions, and references and created templates for commonly seen defects and repairs. These templates became the standard for her team, and she has become the go-to analyst and designated trainer for all new team hires. She also obtained MRB stress signature authority, enabling her to review and approve her work as well as the work of others.

Hough currently serves as the new grad acclimation lead and Connect1NG President, coordinating the mentorship program and planning activities for new hires. She has also been a member of the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion council in the aeronautics sector to serve as an advocate for new hires and foster a diverse workplace culture.

She is a Northrop Grumman 2019 Women in Science and Engineering Program graduate. This six-month selective leadership program develops women employees in STEM roles that are technically high performing and demonstrate ability and potential.

Hough contributes to the community through her involvement as SWE counselor for the student section at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She has recruited at the WE17, WE18, and WE19 annual conferences. She also served as a mentor and volunteer for the SWENext outreach committee.

She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in aerospace engineering, both from Cal Poly Pomona. She enjoys camping and backpacking in the High Sierra region and playing with her puppy, Bailey.