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Aprille Joy Ericsson has been nominated by President Biden to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense (Science and Technology) at the Department of Defense, as announced by the White House.

Ericsson has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to the field of science and engineering, having received numerous prestigious awards and honors.

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Among these achievements is the Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award, which recognizes individuals who are pioneers in science, research, technology, and development, setting higher standards, striving to innovate, and opening doors for others. This award is a part of the BEYA STEM Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) category.

Ericsson has also been named one of the top 50 minority women in science and engineering by the National Technical Association and recognized among the top 20 “Most Powerful Women Engineers” by Business Insider.

In addition to these accolades, Ericsson has received the Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers, the Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Society) Alumni of Distinction Award, and the 2022 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Ralph Coates Roe Medal, the highest honor bestowed by ASME.

Ericsson graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering and later earned her Master of Engineering and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University. She has also received honorary degrees from Medgar Evers College, Rutgers, and Saint Peter’s Universities.

Apart from her professional accomplishments, Ericsson received the Tau Beta Pi’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2018 for her efforts to promote career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and increase the number of women in related fields.

Ericsson has over 30 years of experience working in various leadership positions at NASA, including as a chief technologist, program executive for Earth Science, business executive for Space Science, and leading new business strategy for the center.

She currently serves as the new business lead in the instrument systems and technology division for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Ericsson has made significant contributions throughout her career at NASA Goddard, including serving as the projector manager for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the Moon since 2009.

She has also worked on missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope, ICESat-1 and 2, and lunar orbiters.

Ericsson has held multiple adjunct faculty appointments at universities and serves on several boards. She co-founded and advised the nonprofit STEM youth Dynamic Mathematical Visionaries National Society of Black Engineers Jr. Chapter in Washington, D.C., and has been a tireless advocate for advancing women and people of color in STEM.

She has also received several awards for her work, including the NASA Goddard Honor Award for Excellence in Outreach and the Washington Award for engineering achievements that advance the welfare of humankind.

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