NASA’s Wendy Okolo Is the First Black Woman to Bag a Doctorate Degree in Aerospace Engineering.
At only 26 years old, Wendy Okolo made history when she became the first black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she earned both her undergraduate and doctoral degrees.
In her undergraduate, she was president of the society of women engineers at the university and pursued her graduate degree. She worked as a summer researcher from 2010 to 2012 in the Control Design & Analysis Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where she worked with the team that flew the world’s fastest manned aircraft from coast to coast in a jaw dropping 67 minutes, for a trip that could take some of the world’s fastest aircrafts over five hours.
Dr. Wendy Okolo
“I was like I am sure these guys are so smart, what am I going to bring in,” she said. She went on an error in the code in the systems and she fixed that and “that fixed the impostor syndrome for a while”.
Okolo had to battle impostor’s syndrome when she found out she would be working with such a great team.
Nigerian born Dr. Wendy Okolo is an aerospace research engineer at the Ames Research Center, a major National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research center in California’s Silicon Valley. Okolo. NASA is the U.S. agency responsible for the civilian space program, aeronautics and aerospace research.
Okolo works as a special emphasis programs manager in the Intelligent Systems Division of the Ames Research Center. According to Black Engineer, she is currently leading work on a System-Wide Safety (SWS) project, and a Space Technology Mission Directorate Early Career Initiative (STMD-ECI) project.