Wendy Okolo is Nigerian and first black woman to earn a PhD in aerospace engineering


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Wendy Okolo joins the list of Nigerians making the country proud overseas as she bags a PhD in aerospace engineering. The first black woman to do so.

1. Who is Wendy Okoro?

30-year-old Nigeria woman, Wendy Okoro is the first black woman ever to receive a PHD in the highly technical discipline of aerospace engineering. The young genius works as an aerospace research engineer at the Ames Research Center, which is a major research Centre for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Silicon Valley.


By becoming the first black woman earning PhD in the field, Wendy brings Nigeria to the world!

Prior to that, Wendy worked as summer researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), a scientific research organization handled by the United States Air Force Materiel Command from 2010 to 2012.

Wendy Okolo is making her native coutry proud in the USA.


Wendy Okolo is a distinguished Nigerian scholar

2. Biography of the first black woman earning PhD in aerospace engineering

Wendy hails from the eastern part of Nigeria from a family of six, and was just 26 years old when she earned the title of first black woman in the PHD in the aerospace engineering club. Wendy first landed her BSc in 2010 and her PhD in 2015 at the University of Texas in Arlington, USA.

The young lady said she owes her achievement to her “all-time heroes”: her sisters, who have always stood by her and gave her biology and other science lessons through their daily tutoring and this made excel in school, making her one of the best.


The beauty of intelligence is clearly seen through her eyes!

At first, Wendy didn't fit in when she began to work at AFRL. According to her, their team was all smart and she wanted to bring in something as part of her contribution. This led her to finding an error in the systems and “that fixed the impostor syndrome for a while”.

Her research in the field of aircraft formation flight as a fuel-saving method of flight, led her to write several publications.

According to Cable, Wendy Okoro has amassed quite a number of experiences:

  • She is working on the System-Wide Safety (SWS) project, where she has the role of predicting GPS faults in drones.
  • She is also working on a Space Technology Mission Directorate Early Career Initiative (STMD-ECI) project at the Ames Research Center.
  • Besides these, the young lady is also maintaining her job as a programs manager in the Intelligent Systems Division of NASA’s Ames Research Center.


Let's wait for her potentials to shine in the future!

Okoro has also won the  BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year Award)  which is a global competitive conference award for the most promising engineer in the United States.

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Joshua-Philip Okeafor
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Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).


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