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APL Staff Members Receive Women of Color Technology Awards

Jacqueline Akinpelu and Hui Men, both of APL’s Applied Information Sciences Department, received Women of Color Technology Awards in fall 2009. The awards were presented at the Women of Color STEM Conference in Dallas, TX. Dr. Akinpelu, a systems engineer and mathematician, received a Career Achievement Award for her contributions and leadership in technology over the past 3 decades.

Before joining APL in 2006, Dr. Akinpelu worked for 26 years at Bell Laboratories and AT&T Laboratories. Her technical successes included systems engineering for an innovative dynamic network routing strategy and development of a long-distance network routing system. Dr. Akinpelu also made strides to positively influence the culture at AT&T by mentoring staff, guiding minority recruitment, and directing career planning for technical and management staff.

At APL, Dr. Akinpelu has applied her modeling, simulation, and analysis expertise to programs of critical importance to national security. As assistant supervisor of the Intelligence Systems Branch, her work includes system performance modeling to guide cryptographic system design. She provides technical leadership in her field, for example, co-chairing the 2008 IEEE Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunications Systems (MASCOTS) Symposium.

Dr. Akinpelu has continued her commitment to mentoring since coming to APL. She participates in the AISD Mentoring Program, has volunteered her time for the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program, and is active in minority recruitment activities at the Laboratory.

She has a number of academic publications and is an instructor for the JHU Engineering for Professionals Program at APL. She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Duke University and a Ph.D. in mathematical sciences from The Johns Hopkins University.

“Dr. Akinpelu is a truly outstanding person with an impressive record of professional achievement over the past 30 years,” says Robert Sealock, former supervisor of the Intelligence Systems Engineering Group. “Her leadership spans technical, professional, and social organizations.”

Hui Men was honored with a Most Promising Engineer Award at the Women of Color Conference. Men joined the Laboratory 7 years ago and has made many contributions to the safety and reliability of the nation’s transportation systems. She served as APL’s project manager for the FAA’s Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which uses radar surveillance to alert pilots of potential conflicts with other nearby aircraft, and she is considered the national expert in analyzing and improving the program.

Before working on TCAS, Men developed designs and algorithms for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Roadway Departure Crash Warning project, helping to reduce false-alarm rates. The project uses an in-vehicle camera and radar sensors, a GPS receiver, and a map database to generate early warnings of possible road incidents. Men designed the warning algorithms, simulations, and analysis modules for the program.

Outside of her work, Men is a member of the Asian American Heritage Club (AAHC). She presented an exhibit on Chinese American culture at an AAHC event and has helped prepare booths and food for many of the club’s festivals. She helped start the APL table tennis club and serves as its treasurer. She has also been active in recruitment efforts at the Laboratory. She supervised an ATLAS intern who intends to return to APL after graduation, and she has served as a mentor to many staff members.

“Ms. Men is a talented individual with tremendous potential for future scientific contributions,” says Kevin Parker, supervisor of the Signals Exploitation Systems Group. “She has made significant contributions to APL and external communities, advancing data-mining applications, vulnerability analyses, and transportation safety.” Men has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Wellesley College, a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Maryland, and a master’s degree in computer science from The Johns Hopkins University.