Dr. Wendy A. Okolo is a Nigerian domicile in United state, she is an aerospace engineering researcher in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center. Her focus is in the area of systems health monitoring and control systems design with applications to air and space components, vehicles, and systems. To that effect she is a Sub-Project Manager for the System Wide Safety Project, leading a team to develop the technologies that will enable the safe and seamless integration of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into the U.S. national airspace. She also leads a controls team on a Space Technology project, Pterodactyl, to advance the guidance, navigation, and control capabilities that will make precision landing for deployable entry vehicles a reality for planetary exploration.
She received her B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2010 and 2015 respectively. During her undergraduate studies, she interned for two summers with Lockheed Martin working on NASA’s Orion spacecraft, first in the Requirements Management Office in Systems Engineering and then with the Hatch Mechanisms team in Mechanical Engineering. As a graduate student 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.
Her dissertation research was in the area of aircraft formation flight as a fuel-saving method of flight, working in the Computer-Aided Control Systems Design Laboratory. Specifically, she employed alternative trimming mechanisms such as internal fuel transfer and differential thrusting to trim induced aerodynamic moments on the trail aircraft, reduce the need for the drag-inducing control effector deflections, and increase the benefits of flying in formation. This research was funded by the AFRL, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), American Institute for Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC), Zonta International, and the University of Texas at Arlington.