Meet the First Black woman to Earn a PhD in Aerospace Engineering
The talented lady is said to be a national aeronautics and space administration whiz. 30-year-old Wendy Okolo has achieved a lot in her career.
African is slowly becoming known for producing geniuses who almost always break barriers in their several industries.
Born to a family of six, her career took off at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a United States agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
According to her biography on NASA, she achieved both her bachelor’s degree and doctorate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2010 and 2015 respectively. Okolo was only 26 years old when she became the first Black woman to get a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.
But, Okolo had been making waves even before then. During her undergraduate years, she was in the African Student Society at the University of Texas at Arlington. She was also the president of the Society of Women Engineers at the university. According to her Linkedin account, she also interned at Lockheed Martin working on NASA’s Orion spacecraft. She first worked in the requirements management office in systems engineering and then with the Hatch Mechanisms team in mechanical engineering.
After graduating, Okolo accepted a job as a summer researcher from 2010 to 2012 in the Control Design & Analysis Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
According to The Cabel, Okolo talked about her experience piloting the world’s fastest manned aircraft which flies from coast to coast in 67 minutes. “I was like I’m sure these guys are so smart, what am I going to bring to the table. I was given an assignment to correct an error in a code system which I did and that momentarily ended the impostor syndrome.” Now she’s an Aerospace Research Engineer at the Ames Research Center, a major research centre for National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Silicon Valley.
We are only in the second month of the year, and the lady has won the BEYA Global Competitiveness Conference award for the most promising engineer in the United States. Okolo lists her sisters, Jennifer and Phyllis, as her heroes. She revealed that they taught her biology and other sciences.