Wendy A. Okolo

Aerospace Research Engineer, NASA

Dr. Wendy A. Okolo obtained her Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at 26 becoming the youngest and the first black woman to do so at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). As an undergraduate student at UTA, she interned with Lockheed Martin on the Orion spacecraft for NASA. She was also a research assistant in the area of flight dynamics, guidance, navigation and control motivating her Ph.D. interests & dissertation research in aircraft formation flight as a fuel-saving method of flight. This work was funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory where she worked for three summers, utilizing alternative trimming techniques such as differential thrusting and internal fuel transfer to reduce drag and increase the fuel savings obtained in formation flight. Her work was also funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through the NDSEG fellowship, Zonta International through the Amelia Earhart Fellowship (given to 35 women pursing aerospace Ph.D.s around the world each year), the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Texas Space Grant Consortium, and UTA. Dr. Okolo is now a Special Emphasis Programs Manager and a Research Scientist in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center. At NASA, she conducts research in control systems and systems health monitoring to develop solutions to aerospace engineering problems as a member of the Diagnostics and Prognostics team in the Discovery and Systems Health (DaSH) area. In her spare time, she loves to travel, exercise, and mentor young women in STEM.


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