43rd Annual MLK Celebration Keynote
Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson ’86
Capture Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Currently, Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson '86 is the Capture (Mission) Manager for a proposed Astrophysics Mid-sized Class Explorer, STAR-X. Most recently, Dr. Ericsson serves as the NASA GSFC Program Manager for Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Research (SBIR/STTR). Formerly, she has served as the Deputy to the Chief Technologist for the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) with a primary focus as a Technologist has been Advanced Manufacturing, Applied Nanotechnology, miniaturization of Technology for CubeSat and SmallSat space platforms. During her 25+ year tenure with NASA, she has held numerous positions. As an Attitude Control Systems analyst, she developed practical control methods, and analyzed structural dynamics for XTE-X-Ray Timing Explorer, TRMM-Tropical Rain Forest Measurement Mission, TRACE-Transition Region & Coronal Explorer, WMAP-Wilkerson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. As a NASA HQs Program Executive for Earth Science, and a Business Executive for Space Science serving the SORCE and ICESat missions. As an Instrument Project Manager she has led spaceflight instrument teams and proposal developments; her flight missions include for JWST/NirSPEC, MMS SMART Fast Plasma Instrument (F, GEMS-Gravity and Extreme Magnetism, Small Explorer, LRO/LOLA- Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and ICESat-2/ATLAS. Dr. Aprille Ericsson aerospace research at Howard University was developing control methods for orbiting large space platforms like ISS.
Dr. Ericsson has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member at several Washington DC Area Universities. She sits on several Technical Academic boards at the National Academies, MIT and previously Howard University where she also served as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Dr. Ericsson has won numerous awards and recognitions over the years. The most prestigious was “The 2016 Washington Award” from the Western Society of Engineers. Dr. Ericsson is the first female (and the first African-American female) to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University, and the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at NASA GSFC. She received her B.S. in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from MIT. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Ericsson has one daughter, Arielle Ericsson-White.