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Aprille Ericsson    

Rocket Scientist, Technologist and STEM Educator

Dr. Aprille J. Ericsson is an Aerospace Engineer, who has held numerous positions in education, technically and athletically. While attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) she worked in the Space Systems Laboratory and worked on a fiber optic gyroscope in the Physics Laboratory. Dr. Ericsson’s early research at Howard University (HU) was developing control methods for orbiting large space platforms like International Space Station. She has served as an Adjunct Faculty member at several Universities. Currently, she sits on Engineering Academic boards at the National Academies, and MIT and previously at HU as a Trustee and as the Chair of the HU Middle School of Mathematics and Science.

During her 25+ year tenure with NASA, Dr. Ericsson has worked as Aerospace Engineer, Technologist, Project and Program Manager and Executive. In 2017, she assumed the position of New Business Lead for the NASA GSFC Instrument Systems and Technology Division. Just prior, she served as the Capture Manager for a proposed Astrophysics mid-sized Class Explorer, called STAR-X. Prior to that proposal development, Dr. Ericsson served as the GSFC Program Manager for SBIR/STTR. Formerly, she served as the Deputy to the Chief Technologist for the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate. As an Instrument Project Manager she has led spaceflight instrument teams and proposal developments for instruments ranging from $15M to $500M. As an Attitude Control Systems analyst, Dr. Ericsson developed practical control methods, and analyzed structural dynamics for several space science missions. She served as a NASA HQs Program Executive for Earth Science, and a Business Executive for Space Science.

Dr. Ericsson is also an athlete. Throughout her life she has competed in basketball, flag football and softball. She played on National ranked softball teams which have won two Coed Worlds numerous Stat Championships, and a Women's military World tournaments. She has been voted women’s MVP for coed flag football. Dr. Ericsson’s dedication to youth has also continued as a basketball, softball, baseball and T-ball Coach. She also enjoys skiing, tennis and cycling for fun.

Dr. Ericsson has won numerous awards. She was the first person of color to receive the prestigious “2016 Washington Award” from the Western Society of Engineers. Dr. Ericsson is the first female to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University, and the first African-American civil servant female to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at NASA GSFC. She received her B.S. in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from MIT.

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