Dr. Aprille Ericsson, Aerospace Engineer and Instrument Manager
Dr. Aprille Ericsson is an aerospace engineer and instrument manager at NASA’s prestigious Goddard Space Flight Center. She became the first African American female to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University (Washington, DC), and the first African American female at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering.
Throughout her career at NASA Goddard, she has made many notable contributions, including as the projector manager for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that has been orbiting the Moon since 2009, and the ICESat-2 Atlas (Ice, Cloud, & Land Elevation Satellite) that provides measurements over the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica to quantify changes in ice-sheet mass that impact global sea level.
She has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Minority Women in Science and Engineering by the National Technical Association and has received the NASA Goddard Honor Award for Excellence in Outreach, the Washington Award for engineering achievements that advance the welfare of mankind, and a Science Trailblazers award from the Black Engineers of the Year Award Conference. Says Dr. Ericsson: “I feel obligated to continue to help spur the interest of minorities and females in the math, science and engineering disciplines. Without diversity in all fields, the United States will not remain technically competitive.”