Wendy Okolo Associate Project Manager NASA’s System-Wide Safety Project


Dr. Wendy A. Okolo is the Associate Project Manager for NASA’s System-Wide Safety project, focused on the development of new research tools, innovative aerospace technologies, and re-defined operational methods that will enable the safe operations of unmanned vehicles in the national airspace. As an aerospace controls research engineer, her expertise is in unconventional controls system design and optimization for air and space vehicles.

Her research experiences include stints at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Advanced Development Programs of Lockheed Martin (Skunkworks), working on multi-aircraft formation flight and performance optimizing flight control for the Joint Strike Fighter F-35C aircraft, respectively. 

At 26 years old, Dr. Okolo became the first black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is the recipient of the 2020 NASA Ames Award for Researcher and the 2019 NASA Ames Early Career Researcher Award. She also received the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Most Promising Engineer in U.S. Government, the 2019 Women In Aerospace Award for Initiative, Inspiration & Impact, and the 2019 U.T. Arlington Distinguished Recent Graduate Award.