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William Agassounon received the Senior Technology Fellow Award at the 2024 BEYA STEM Conference. He is a director for research in automated systems at Textron.

His expertise in autonomous systems and machine learning has been critical in advancing the capabilities of networked unattended ground sensors, airborne sensors, and weapon systems, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in autonomous defense technology.

William’s work goes beyond the lab or boardroom. He is an excellent mentor and collaborator, fostering a culture of innovation and teamwork.

He has guided early-career engineers and worked across various teams to tackle complex projects, such as developing distributed algorithms for autonomous robots and exploring GPS-denied navigation.

His career is a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating that technical skill, dedication, innovation, and ethical consideration can lead to remarkable achievements in defense technology.

During his acceptance speech at the award ceremony, William highlighted trailblazers’ contributions, such as Thomas Jennings, the first Black patent holder on record, who exemplified rigorous thinking, problem-solving, and innovation in America while overcoming immense challenges.

William dedicated this honor to his family, tech-strong colleagues, science and technology partners in the U.S. government, industry, and academia, and teachers and mentors in Africa, Europe, Asia, and America, who made him who he is today. He thanked all those who kept the dream alive.

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