Good morning great Nigerians…..
One general characteristic of Nigerians is their doggedness and their ability to excel exceedingly in whatever they put their minds to. Even in the aerospace world, Nigerians are putting Nigeria in a positive light at the global stage.
On today’s episode of the Rebrand Nigeria Ambassador series, we shall be discussing Wendy Okolo(Phd), the first black woman to obtain a Phd in aerospace engineering.
Wendy A. Okolo is an aerospace research engineer in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center. She is the first Black woman to obtain a Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering from University of Texas at Arlington.She is also the Special Emphasis Programs Manager for Women at Ames.
Okolo obtained her secondary education at Queen’s College, an all-girls school in Lagos, Nigeria. She then received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in 2010. She later became the first Black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from UTA in 2015 at age 26. During Okolo’s undergraduate years, she served as president of the Society of Women Engineers at the university.
Okolo started her career as an undergraduate intern for Lockheed Martin, working on NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Over the course of two summers, she interned with the Requirements Management Office in Systems Engineering and the Hatch Mechanisms team in Mechanical Engineering. As a graduate student, Okolo later worked in the Control Design & Analysis Branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Okolo is currently the Special Emphasis Programs Manager and Research Engineer at NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Her efforts have been crowned with the following achievements and awards;
- Amelia Earhart Fellowship (2012)
- National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship (2012)
- AIAA John Leland Atwood Graduate Award (2013)
- BEYA Global Competitiveness Conference Award (2019) – The Most Promising Engineer in the United States government.
- Women in Aerospace Award (2019) – Initiative, Inspiration, & Impact
- NASA Ames Early Career Researcher Award (2019)
- University of Texas at Arlington Distinguished Recent Graduate Award (2019)
Congratulations Dr Wendy Okolo, our Rebrand Nigeria Ambassador.