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Henry T. Brown

Chemical engineer Henry T. Brown was born on June 16, 1932 to Elias Brown and Martha Gentry Marks in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1950, and attended the University of Cincinnati, where he was the first African American to earn a B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1955. Brown then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a National Science Foundation Scholar, and received his M.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1956.

Brown became a research scientist at Esso Research and Engineering Company in New Jersey in 1956; and, from 1957 to 1965, he was active with the NAACP as an executive board member, membership chairman, advisor to the youth group, publicity chairman, and member of the labor committee. The labor committee originated the bias fight at the Union County Court House annex in 1963, which was the largest non-violent demonstrations in the state of New Jersey. In 1967, Brown moved to Metuchen, New Jersey to work as a development engineer for the Squibb Institute for Medical Research. He joined the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 1968, where he helped develop a career guidance and minority affairs program. While a resident of Metuchen, Brown became the first African American in town government in 1970, serving as vice president of the education board in 1971 and 1972. In 1972, Brown left the board and Squibb when he accepted a managerial role at Polaroid. Residing in Weston, Massachusetts, Brown became the first African American town official in 1982 joining the town’s board of health and was Chairman for seven years. In 1983, Brown became the first African American director of AIChE, and the minority affairs coordinator; and, in 1984, he became the second African American fellow. He retired from Polaroid in 1996, having last served as plant manager of the Integral Coatings Division, and stepped down as the AIChE minority affairs coordinator in 2003.

Brown has received an array of awards for his work, which include: the Martin K. Simberloff Memorial Award in 1960, presented by the Urban League of Union County, New Jersey; the Big Brother Award for Outstanding Service to Youth in 1965, the Distinguished Alumni Award , presented by the University of Cincinnati in 1983; the F.J. and Dorothy Van Antwerpen Award for Service to the Institute, presented by the AIChE in 1996; an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2001; and the 2004 Grimes and 2015 Pioneer of Diversity Awards, both presented by the AIChE’s Minority Affairs Committee. In 2018, the AIChE renamed their Minority Affairs Committee Endowment Fund the Henry T. and Melinda C. Brown Minority Affairs Endowment Fund.

Brown was a Sunday school teacher at Myrtle Baptist Church in Newton, Massachusetts for thirty years, and a NAACP Diamond Life Member. He resides in Weston, Massachusetts, and has two adult children, Gregory and Mary Allyson, and two grandchildren, Ian and Camille.

Henry T. Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2019.

Brown passed away on February 13, 2020.

Accession Number

A2019.098

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2019

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Thomas

Occupation
Schools
Walnut Hills High School
University of Cincinnati
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sands Montessori School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Henry

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

BRO70

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Ohio

Favorite Quote

No Problem Is So Big Or So Complicated That You Can't Run Away From It and If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

6/16/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Home Made Ice Cream

Death Date

2/13/2020

Short Description

Chemical engineer Henry T. Brown (1932- 2020) was the first African American to graduate with a chemical engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati and the first African American fellow and director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Employment
Esso Research & Engineering Co.
E.R. Squibb for Medical Research
Polaroid Corporation
Favorite Color

Blue

Isaiah Blankson

Aerospace scientist Isaiah Blankson was born on September 28, 1944 in Cape Coast, Ghana. He received his B.S. degree in 1969, M.S. degree in 1970, and Ph.D. degree in 1973, each in aeronautics and astronautics, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1982, Blankson joined General Electric Corporate Research Center (GRC), in Schenectady, New York, where he conducted research on hypervelocity plasma-armature projectile launchers, and gas-dynamic circuit breakers. He went on to join NASA as program director of the Generic Hypersonics program, in 1988, and was named deputy director of Hypersonics Research Division, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1991. He was promoted to senior technologist in the Hypersonics division at NASA Glenn Research Center, in Cleveland, Ohio in 1997. Blankson’s pioneering work advanced the state of the art air breathing hypersonic wave riders, and aircraft-engine concepts. Blankson conducted research on non-equilibrium weakly-ionized plasmas and magneto hydrodynamics (MHD), plasma discharges in dielectric liquids, and magnetic suspension systems.

In 1998, Blankson, an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, served as the U.S. national delegate to the NATO Research and Technology Organization’s Working Group on Hypersonic Vehicle Technology. During his career, he as worked to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers, especially underrepresented minorities, by aiding the building of research programs. He led the formation of the NASA-sponsored Center for Aero propulsion at Hampton University, and the NASA Center of Excellence at North Carolina A&T State University, serving as technical monitor and advisor.

At NASA, his contributions to the development of concepts for high-speed air breathing propulsion resulted in many awards and patents. Included on the list of patents: the Exoskeletal Gas-Turbine Engine (U.S. patent 6,393,831-B1, 2002), and the Magneto-Hydrodynamic Power (MHD) Controlled Gas Turbine (U.S. patent 6,696,774-B1, 2004). In addition, he co-developed a Method for Weakening Shockwave Strength on Vehicles in Supersonic Atmospheric Flight (2015, US Patent 9,016,632 B1).

Blankson has received numerous awards, including the 1969 Luis de Florez Award for excellence in engineering from MIT, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2002, National Emerald Honors Scientist of the Year Award in 2006, two Presidential Rank Awards: The 2012 Distinguished Senior Professional Award, and the 2006 Meritorious Senior Professional Award. In 2018, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal in recognition of his development of Nonequilibrium Plasma technology for aerospace and terrestrial applications.

Isaiah Blankson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.193

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/26/2018

Last Name

Blankson

Maker Category
Middle Name

M

Occupation
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Isaiah

Birth City, State, Country

Cape Coast

HM ID

BLA19

Favorite Season

September

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod

Favorite Quote

Nobody Is Your Friend When They Demand Your Silence.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

9/28/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

Ghana

Favorite Food

Angel Hair Spaghetti

Short Description

Aerospace scientist Isaiah Blankson (1944 - ) was a senior technologist in the Hypersonics Research Division at NASA Glenn Research Center where he pioneered state of the art air breathing hypersonic wave riders and novel aircraft-engine concepts.

Favorite Color

Beige

Raye Jean Montague

Engineer Raye Jean Montague was born on January 21, 1935 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Rayford Jordan and Flossie Graves Jordan. Montague graduated from Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1952, and enrolled at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College (now called The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). Initially, Montague aspired to study engineering, but received her B.S. degree in business because the engineering program did not accept African American students.

In 1956, Montague joined the U.S. Navy in Carderock, Maryland, and was stationed at David Taylor Model Basin (now the Naval Surface Warfare Center). Montague worked as a clerk typist for several years, before becoming a digital computer systems operator and a computer systems analyst at the Naval Ship Engineering Center in Washington D.C. Montague was promoted to program director of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) integrated design, manufacturing, and maintenance program; and she also served as the division head of the Navy’s computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing program. In 1971 Montague became the first person to design a naval ship using a computer, producing the first draft for the FFG-7 Frigate in under nineteen hours. Montague was the U.S. Navy’s first female program manager of ships and the first program manager of the information systems improvement program. Over the course of her career, Montague worked on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower as well as the Navy’s first landing craft helicopter-assault ship. She retired from the U.S. Navy in 1990.

In 1972, Montague received the U.S. Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and was also nominated for the Federal Woman of the Year Award by the secretary of the Navy. In 1982, Montague became the first female engineer to receive the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Achievement Award. She also received the National Computer Graphics Association Award for Advancement of Computer Graphics in 1988. Montague was the first woman to serve on the board of directors for the Numerical Control Society; and she also held memberships with LifeQuest of Arkansas, The Links Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Arkansas Association of University Women, and the American Contract Bridge League. Montague was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2013, and Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame in 2018. In May of 2018, she was conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Montague passed away on October 10, 2018.

Raye Jean Montague was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2018.041

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/12/2018

Last Name

Montague

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jean Jordan

Occupation
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Raye

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

MON12

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Karaca Island

Favorite Quote

The Best Is Yet To Come

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

1/21/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chili

Death Date

10/10/2018

Short Description

Engineer Raye Jean Montague (1935 - 2018) was the first person to design a naval ship using a computer, and the first female program director in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Favorite Color

Blue

Emery N. Brown

Statistician, anesthesiologist and neuroscientist Emery N. Brown was born in Ocala, Florida to Benjamin Brown and Alberta Brown. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1974, Brown enrolled at Harvard College and went on to earn his B.A. degree in applied mathematics in 1978 before spending one year as an International Rotary fellow at the Institut Fourier des Mathèmatiques Pures in Grenoble, France. Brown returned to Harvard University and graduated in 1984 with his A.M. degree in statistics, his M.D. degree in anesthesiology from Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 1987 and his Ph.D. degree in statistics in 1988.

Brown completed his internship in internal medicine in 1988 at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and his residency in anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 1992. Following completion of his residency he joined the anesthesiology staff in the Department of Anesthesia at MGH and the faculty at Harvard Medical School as an instructor. In 1999, he joined the faculty of the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Division of Health Sciences and Technology at HMS. In 2005, Brown was named a professor of computational neuroscience and professor of health and sciences technology at MIT. In 2006, he became the Massachusetts General Hospital Professor of Anesthesia at HMS; and, in 2008, he was named the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at HMS. Brown was internationally recognized for using statistics in the development of signal processing algorithms in order to study how systems in the brain represent and transmit information and for his use of functional neuroimaging to study in humans how anesthetic drugs act in the brain to create the state of general anesthesia. He has developed statistical methods to: study learning and memory formation; design algorithms for neural prosthetic control; improve signal extraction from fMRI imaging time-series; localize dynamically sources of neural activity in the brain from electroencephalography (EEG) and magneto-encephalography (MEG) recordings; measure the period of the circadian pacemaker (human biological clock) and its sensitivity to light; characterize the dynamics of human heart beats in physiological and pathological states; and de-noise two-photon in vivo imaging data.

Brown has been recognized for his work throughout his career. In addition to being one of the most cited African American mathematicians, in 2000, Brown won the National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Career Advancement Award, a National Institute of Mental Health Independent Scientist Award, and in 2007, an National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award. He has been named a fellow of several prominent professional organizations including the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Statistical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Brown is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Emery N. Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2017.125

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/10/2017

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Middle Name

N.

Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Emery

Birth City, State, Country

Ocala

HM ID

BRO64

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martinique

Favorite Quote

Nothing is supposed to work.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/20/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cambridge

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Statistician, anesthesiologist and neuroscientist Emery N. Brown the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard University Medical School, and is one of the most cited African American mathematicians in academic journals.

Favorite Color

Blue, to wear, black

Ivan Yaeger

Inventor and nonprofit executive Ivan Yaeger was born on June 7, 1967 in Miami, Florida to Elliott Yaegar, Jr. and Ollie Yaegar. He attended Miami Shores Elementary School and North Miami Junior High School before he graduated from Miami Central Senior High School in 1984. Yaeger went on to earn his B.B.A. degree in business management and organization from the University of Miami in 1988.

While at the University of Miami, Yaeger filed his first patent for the Yaeger Prosthetic Arm, a prosthetic arm controlled through activating sensors on the human body. He also began the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporation in 1996 and became its chief executive officer. In 1991, Yaeger began working as a pupil advocate for AESOP, a mentoring program for minorities within Miami Dade Public Schools. Yaeger then founded the Yaeger Foundation, Inc. in 1995 which in 1997 started the Technology Leaders Initiative, a workshop program for students of all ages. During the same year, Yaegar became the corporate relations manager for INROADS, Inc. In 2000, Yaeger founded Yaeger Companies, which combined all of his previous endeavors under the name of one company. He gained national attention when he created prosthetic arms for an eleven-year-old named Diamond Excell, who was born without arms. Yaeger filed another patent in 2006, for a mechanical hand kit that was used in the Technology Leaders Initiative.

In addition to his work with the Yaeger Foundation, Yaeger also served his community through service on a variety of boards that included the Wellness Committee for Miami Dade Public Schools and the Miami Children’s Initiative.

Ivan and The Yaeger Arm have appeared in over one hundred broadcasts and publications such as The Today Show, National Medical Association Journal, M.I.T Inventor of the Week Archive, The Johns Hopkins Newsletter, Jet magazine, People magazine and the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s website and Minority Inventors: America’s Tapestry of Innovation video.

Yaeger has been recognized and honored for his innovations and community involvement many times. In 1992, he received the Father Surrogate of the Year Award from the Urban League. In 2002, the U.S. Patent Office named him as a distinguished innovator. He was also the recipient of the ICON Award in 2006 and the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011. Yaeger was inducted into the Miami Dade Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2017.

Ivan Yaeger was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.063

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/10/2017

Last Name

Yaeger

Maker Category
Schools

Miami Shores Elementary School

North Miami Middle School

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School

Miami Central Senior High School

University of Miami

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ivan

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

YAE01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Palm Beach, Florida

Favorite Quote

If Your Mind Can Conceive It And Your Heart Believe It Then You Can Achieve It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/7/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Inventor and nonprofit executive Ivan Yaeger (1967 - ) invented the Yaeger Prosthetic Arm, and served as founder and CEO of Yaeger Companies and the Yaeger Foundation.

Employment

Y.I.P. Corporation

Miami Dade Public Schools

The Yaeger Foundation, Inc.

INROADS S. Florida, Inc.

The Yaeger Companies

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:875,21:1445,28:3155,54:5815,113:6480,132:14519,423:28618,537:29257,549:40016,706:43729,754:48357,905:68471,1442:69005,1450:69450,1470:78420,1513$0,0:1173,21:2277,62:2553,68:2829,74:3105,79:3657,88:4761,112:5175,119:6210,140:9724,267:18652,378:33342,667:37962,734:42847,982:69500,1263
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654406">Tape: 1 Slating of Ivan Yaeger's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654407">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654408">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654409">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654410">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger talks about how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654411">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger describes his likeness to his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654412">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger lists his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654413">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654414">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger describes the sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654415">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger talks about his early awareness of race</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654416">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger recalls his early interest in engineering</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654417">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger remembers moving to Miami Shores, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654418">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger describes his early academic interests</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654419">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger remembers learning about science from his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654420">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger recalls the start of his interest in prosthetics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654421">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger remembers his favorite children's television shows</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654422">Tape: 1 Ivan Yaeger recalls building his first prosthetic device</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654423">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger describes his first prosthetic arm invention</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654424">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger recalls his activities at Miami Central Senior High School in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654425">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger remembers graduating from Miami Central Senior High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654426">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger remembers securing his first patent for a prosthetic device</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654427">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger remembers founding the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654428">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger describes his education at the University of Miami</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654429">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger recalls his early success with the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654430">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger describes the Afrocentric Enhancement, Self-Esteem Opportunity Program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654431">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger talks about The Yaeger Foundation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654432">Tape: 2 Ivan Yaeger remembers working for INROADS, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654433">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger remembers his mentees at INROADS, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654434">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger describes his inventing process</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654435">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger remembers creating the Technology Leaders Initiative</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654436">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger talks about his corporate and academic partners</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654437">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger recalls founding The Yaeger Companies</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654438">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger remembers the Y2K scare</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654439">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger remembers creating prosthetic arms for Diamond Excell</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654440">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger describes the advancements in prosthetic technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654441">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger remembers the celebration for Diamond Excell's prosthetic arms</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654442">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger describes his Bionic/Robotic Hand Kit competition</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654443">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger talks about building Yeager Plaza in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654444">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger describes his medical partnerships</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654445">Tape: 3 Ivan Yaeger describes his plans for the future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654446">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger talks about the future of prosthetic technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654447">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger describes his family's role in The Yaeger Companies</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654448">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654449">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654450">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger describes about his family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654451">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger talks about the importance of defying stereotypes</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654452">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654453">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger narrates his photographs, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/654454">Tape: 4 Ivan Yaeger narrates his photographs, pt. 2</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

17$9

DATitle
Ivan Yaeger recalls building his first prosthetic device
Ivan Yaeger remembers the celebration for Diamond Excell's prosthetic arms
Transcript
Here you are, you're eleven years old when you decide that you're going to build a prosthetic arm. Now, how--so what was your--was your plan to make an arm that actually moved--$$Yes.$$--on its own?$$Absolutely.$$Okay.$$And, and I had so many remote control cars and other electronic toys and things that I figured I could take parts out of. So, I thought I was, you know, pretty well set to start experimenting and make this arm actually have articulated joints and operate electrically.$$Okay. So, what did you come up with? What, what was it like?$$This was an arm that had an electric elbow and hand, powered by batteries. And it had the grasping motion and the elbow flexion. And so, it was the basic movements of the, of the human arm, built with a lot of erector set parts, remote control car parts, and some things that were taken out of household appliances, and things that are around the house that I could get my hands on.$$All right. Did you have to replace those things at some point?$$There was that time of them coming over and finding out that something was taken apart. It was actually working before they left the room. So, I had, I had some moments of being in trouble, but after a while, they said, "We'll make a deal. We'll give you all the things that have broken. When they break, we'll give them to you, and you get some tools and you can, you can experiment." So, I, I was fortunate to end up with a box full of parts after a while that I was able to play around with.$$Okay.$Okay. Well, tell us about the, Diamond [Diamond Excell], you know, what, what actually happened and how did it really change her, her pro- prospects?$$It, it, to kind of--to give a little background of what happened to--when she received her arms, one of the things that she said when I asked her, "Well, what's the first thing you're going to do when you get your arms?" She said, "I'm going to hug my mom [Dalia Excell] for the first time with my own arms." And that was something that really drove us and inspired us, so we had a big celebration. It was her birthday, and the arms were her birthday present. She was going to go to seventh grade the following year. And so, reporters from around the world were there to watch this moment of what was considered impossible become possible. And over a hundred news outlets covered it. And whether she walked out and went to the, front of the, the room to the stage, and hugged her mom with her arms the first time. And so, that was an exciting moment. It was inspiration for both of us who worked on the project. It was seeing her face when that dream became reality. And, and for her to have a chance to know what it would be like to have upper limbs, which is something that we all take for granted.

Robert Bragg

Physicist and engineer Robert Henry “Pete” Bragg, Jr. was born on August 11, 1919 in Jacksonville, Florida to Robert Henry Bragg and Lily Camille MacFarland. He had one older sister, Alberta, a younger sister, Nadine, and a younger brother, Johnny. After his parents separated, Bragg lived with his mother and grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee, but he was encouraged by his family to move to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his Aunt Edna and Uncle Teddy where he attended Tilden Technical High School. Bragg pursued higher education at Woodrow Wilson Junior College, a community college in Chicago, Illinois, for a couple of years before enlisting in the military during World War II. Using the money allotted to him from the G.I. Bill to attend Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Bragg pursued a career in physics following the war. He received his B.S. degree in physics in 1949 and continued his graduate studies under the tutelage of Frances L. Yost, graduating from IIT in 1951 with his M.S. degree and his thesis on quantum mechanical scattering theories.

Following his graduation, Bragg was hired at the Dover Electroplating Company on the North Side of Chicago, and then the Portland Cement Association Research Laboratory. While working with the latter of these companies, Bragg became an expert in x-ray crystallography and xray diffraction. He was then hired by the Armour Research Foundation at IIT, where he worked for another five years while continuing his graduate studies working under his mentor, Dr. Leonid V. Azaroff. Bragg completed his studies at IIT in 1960 and earned his Ph.D. degree in physics.

Bragg was then hired by Lockheed Martin Missile and Space, where he worked for nine years before joining the faculty of the materials science and engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley in June of 1969. Bragg served as chair of the materials science and engineering department from 1978 to 1981, the only African American to do so at that time. Bragg’s research interests included x-ray diffraction and its application to such topics as the structure and electronic properties of carbon materials. There materials were used in aircraft and aerospace vehicles as well as in everyday items such as golf clubs and tennis rackets. He taught at the university and conducted research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) until 1986. After his retirement, Bragg was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992 to conduct research for one year at the University of Ife in Nigeria. He also performed research at the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1999.

Bragg’s investigations in chemistry and physics earned him numerous honors and awards throughout his career. He was named a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) in 1995 and a professor emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley upon his retirement in 1987.

Bragg passed away on October 3, 2017 at age 98.

Accession Number

A2011.003

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/11/2011

Last Name

Bragg

Middle Name

Henry

Organizations
Schools

Carnes Elementary School

St. Anthony School

Woodstock Middle School

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Illinois Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

BRA12

Favorite Season

Spring, Early Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Quote

Be Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/11/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens

Death Date

10/3/2017

Short Description

Physics professor and physicist Robert Bragg (1919 - 2017 ) was a leader in the techniques of x-ray diffraction and the study of carbon-based materials, and served as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1987.

Employment

Cadney's Tea Room

Beat Plumming and Heating

Palmer House

D.S. Signet Elementary Training

Research Lab Portland Cement Association

ITT Research Institute

Lockheed Martin

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black, Dark Blue, Beige, Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30311">Tape: 1 Slating of Robert Bragg's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30312">Tape: 1 Robert Bragg shares his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30313">Tape: 1 Robert Bragg talks about his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30314">Tape: 1 Robert Bragg talks about his maternal grandfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30315">Tape: 1 Robert Bragg talks about his mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30316">Tape: 1 Robert Bragg talks about his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30317">Tape: 1 Robert Bragg talks about his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30318">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg explains how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30319">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg talks about his mother's half-sister who was in show business</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30320">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg discusses his parents' marriage and their separation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30321">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg talks about his mother's second marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30322">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg talks about his resemblance to certain family members</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30323">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30324">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30325">Tape: 2 Robert Bragg describes his upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30326">Tape: 3 Robert Bragg recalls growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30327">Tape: 3 Robert Bragg talks about his elementary school experience, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30328">Tape: 3 Robert Bragg talks about his elementary experience, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30329">Tape: 3 Robert Bragg discusses his awareness of African American organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30330">Tape: 3 Robert Bragg recalls his family's move to Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30331">Tape: 3 Robert Bragg describes himself as a teenager</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30332">Tape: 4 Robert Bragg talks about living in Chicago, Illinois with his uncle</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30333">Tape: 4 Robert Bragg describes his uncle's work for Oscar DePriest as a plumber</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30334">Tape: 4 Robert Bragg describes his experience at Tilden Technical High School in Chicago</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30335">Tape: 4 Robert Bragg talks about is experience at Wilson Junior College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30336">Tape: 4 Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30337">Tape: 4 Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30338">Tape: 5 Robert Bragg recalls taking aptitude tests and joining the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30339">Tape: 5 Robert Bragg recounts his experience in his U.S. Army laundry unit</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30340">Tape: 5 Robert Bragg describes his direct commission to officer in the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30341">Tape: 5 Robert Bragg describes his army experience in the Philippines</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30342">Tape: 5 Robert Bragg describes his army experience in Japan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30343">Tape: 5 Robert Bragg talks about a murder that occurred while he served in the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30344">Tape: 5 Robert Bragg talks about going to college after his return from the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30345">Tape: 6 Robert Bragg talks about earning his master's degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30346">Tape: 6 Robert Bragg tells how he met his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30347">Tape: 6 Robert Bragg remembers looking for a job after earning his master's degree</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30348">Tape: 6 Robert Bragg recalls his experience of integrating the cafeteria at Portland Cement Association</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30349">Tape: 6 Robert Bragg describes his work at the Portland Cement Association</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30350">Tape: 6 Robert Bragg remembers looking for a new job after the Portland Cement Association</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30351">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg remembers doing well on a test at North Carolina A&T College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30352">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg talks about his work at the Armour Research Foundation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30353">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30354">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30355">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg talks about his job at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30356">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg describes his involvement in the Palo Alto community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30357">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30358">Tape: 7 Robert Bragg talks about his travels while working at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30359">Tape: 8 Robert Bragg recalls discussions of race relations in Argentina and the U.S.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30360">Tape: 8 Robert Bragg talks about his position at the University of California, Berkeley</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30361">Tape: 8 Robert Bragg discusses the role of African Americans in science</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30362">Tape: 8 Robert Bragg continues discussing the role of African Americans in science</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30363">Tape: 8 Robert Bragg talks about his accomplishments at the University of California, Berkeley</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30364">Tape: 8 Robert Bragg discusses his research at the University of California, Berkeley</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30365">Tape: 8 Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30366">Tape: 9 Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30367">Tape: 9 Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30368">Tape: 9 Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30369">Tape: 9 Robert Bragg talks about his other professional positions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30370">Tape: 9 Robert Bragg responds to a question about black student preparedness</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30371">Tape: 9 Robert Bragg discusses African American organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30372">Tape: 9 Robert Bragg talks about his family and reflects on his decisions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30373">Tape: 10 Robert Bragg recalls being a busboy at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30374">Tape: 10 Robert Bragg discusses his involvement in University of California, Berkeley committees</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30375">Tape: 10 Robert Bragg talks about his appointment as faculty assistant to the chancellor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30376">Tape: 10 Robert Bragg talks about his best students at University of California, Berkeley</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30377">Tape: 10 Robert Bragg reflects on his life's accomplishments</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30378">Tape: 10 Robert Bragg shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30379">Tape: 10 Robert Bragg talks about his scientific legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30380">Tape: 11 Robert Bragg talks about his immediate family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30381">Tape: 11 Robert Bragg explains the origins of his nickname "Pete" and reflects on his life's accomplishments</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/30382">Tape: 11 Robert Bragg describes his photos</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1
Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon
Transcript
You have good stories. Do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$Yes and no. I don't, I can't really put my finger on it, but I almost think I can remember when my sister [Nadine Maryann] was born. Now, that's not really possible because I was only two years old. But I have this dim recollection of some people coming and going in the house and I'm associating that with the birth of my younger sister, two years later. The next recollection I have is when we were on this homestead where--now, how we got there, I don't know. But sugarcane was grown there. And what they would do would be to harvest this sugarcane and make a preliminary extraction of the sweet juice from the sugarcane. And the way it was done was, they had a mill which was a couple of stones, large stones that are juxtaposed. So, and they're rolled, and the power for rolling these mills--these stones was a mule who went around in a circle. And he just sort of kept plodding around and rolling these stones and they would feed the stalks of cane into the stone and the drippings would collect in a barrel. And that was eventually fermented or distilled and made into sugar. And I can remember that you could chew this cane. It was rather sweet, and to this day, I'm sure people do that, but not the way the sugarcane was extracted. But apparently, they would boil this material, and there was a scum that collected off of it. And they would put that scum in a barrel, and it would ferment and would change into alcohol and rather potent. So the term sugar barrel high came from people who would, n'er-do-wells, would sit next to this barrel and dip this cane (laughter), this fermenting liquor to get high (laughter). So I don't know whether that comes later or not, but I do have this image of this mule going around, powering the stones. And the next one is when we moved to, from the lumber camp to Chicago [Illinois]--to Memphis [Tennessee] because then, just before that we're in this lumber camp, I had a pet alligator. Apparently, out in the woods, they had killed this alligator and brought home this, his little, you know, babies. So I had this pet alligator, have nothing, no further, nothing beyond that, but I do remember I had a pet alligator.$$He was a little one.$$Yeah, about so long, hang onto your finger you know.$$(Laughter).$$And I remember there was a guitar player who hung out at this juke who would come by the house. And sometimes he would play. And then one time, he showed up, there had been a big fight, and they'd broken his (laughter) guitar. So, beyond that, these are my earliest childhood recollections.$Okay, so now meanwhile, in the laboratory, you're studying the properties of carbon?$$Yeah, that was very interesting. And it came about in this way. When we, when I got there, the big program--and that was what I liked about it. I didn't like the military aspects of the missiles, but Lockheed Missiles and Space Company [California]. So it was involved in both, you see. I could always absolve myself of some blame by just thinking of, about space (laughter). To tell you the truth, I never really sweated it that much. But when I arrived there, the big program was the ballistic missile program. And one of the big programs with that is reentry. When you fire missiles into space and when it comes, when it reenters, ordinarily it would burn up because the aerodynamic heating would be such that it's going so fast, you know, faster than the speed of sound. And once it enters the earth's atmosphere, it just catches--you know, ordinary materials would burn up. And to this day, perhaps you read about the shuttle and the tiles coming off and burning through and burning up and all that. Well, a lot of work went into finding materials, hopefully, passive, which meant it would just do--they would not burn up so badly. And the material that does that better than any other is carbon. So that led to a lot of research on carbon. Union Carbide [Corporation], carbon producing companies which produce electrodes for manufacturing steel and all that, they also had projects to manufacture carbon for the space program, you know, the program. But the government was paying for all of that. They didn't do any of that on their own money because it wasn't that big a market. Once you built something, it wasn't--you didn't do hundreds of tons. You'd just do a few, you know. But a whole lot of manpower went into research on these materials. And so we had people around there who were studying the thermo-physical properties and the reentry properties and the tinsel properties and all that. And I loved that because I could do all kinds of physics, you know, in addition to what I was doing in characterizing the material. All that relates back to structure. So not long after I got there, I got involved in the reentry materials program. And there was a conference in Japan that occurred in '62 [1962], I guess it was, that they sent me to because some of it had to do with carbon materials. And also there was a chemical company in--I forget which town it was, but off of the beaten path of the conference, that (unclear) that made a material called glassy carbon which seemed to have very novel properties that might be useful in our reentry vehicles. So I made a side trip to this town in Japan where they, you know, put on the big dog and gave me this sales pitch (laughter), brought some of it back, little pieces, you know. And it turned out that it really was no good for that purpose at all, thermo shock, you know. If you heat something very quickly, and it expands very quickly, it'll fly apart unless it's strong enough. So it didn't have that thermo-shock resistance.$$So it wouldn't burn, but it would fly apart?$$Yeah, just fly apart. But in the meantime, because it was secret, we couldn't tell the Japanese, couldn't tell them what we wanted to do, and so it meant we had to reinvent the wheel. So we had a big program reinventing how to make glassy carbon. And I have a lamp back there in my room that's, the bowl of it is glassy carbon. But we never did get a patent on it because--well, I don't know what the reason was except that somehow we had licenses, let people have licenses to produce it, but we never patented it. But anyway, that's how I got into carbon.

Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.

Orthopaedic surgeon, chemical engineer and astronaut Robert Lee Satcher, Jr. was born on September 22, 1965 in Hampton, Virginia to Robert and Marian Satcher. Satcher graduated from Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina, in 1982. He received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1986; his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1993; and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994. Satcher completed his postdoctoral research fellowships at MIT in 1994 and University of California, Berkeley in 1998; internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco in 2000; and a fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Florida in 2001.

From 2001 to 2008, Satcher served as an assistant professor at The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was also an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois from 2001 to 2008, and served as a professor at the Institute for Bionanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University Medical Center. In addition, Satcher was an attending physician of orthopaedic oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2001 to 2008; and served as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University from 2002 to 2008.

Satcher joined NASA in 2004. In 2009, he became the first orthopaedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission, where he was a mission specialist and performed two spacewalks. Satcher left NASA in September 2011, and serves as a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Satcher’s professional organizations include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, American Academy of Cancer Research, Connective Tissue Oncology Society, National Medical Association, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Doctors United in Medical Missions, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Telemedicine Association, Orthopaedic Research Society, MIT Alumni Association, Black Alumni at MIT and Harvard Alumni Association. In addition, he co-founded the eHealth Research Institute, is a user panel member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and serves on the boards of CSTEM and Teach for America.

Satcher has been active in numerous community organizations, including Big Brother for Youth at Risk Counseling Program, Department of Corrections, San Francisco, California; Tutor for Black Student’s Union Tutorial Program, MIT; National Society of Black Engineers; American Institute of Chemical Engineering; Supervising Adult for Cub Scout Camp for Boys, Nashville, Tennessee; Open Airways Tutor (asthma awareness); Proctor for Freshman Dormitory at Harvard University; Lay Episcopal Minister at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois and at St. James Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas. Satcher has also completed medical missions for outreach care to underserved areas in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Gabon.

Satcher was a National Merit Scholar, and received the Monsanto Award and the Albert G. Hill Award from MIT, fellowships from both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and UNCF/Merck Research department, and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He has been awarded two honorary doctorates of science, and was selected as a finalist in Tuskegee University’s presidency search in 2010.

Robert Satcher, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 3, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.047

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/3/2014

5/7/2014

Last Name

Satcher

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Denmark-Olar High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard Medical School

Harvard

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

SAT03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/22/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Unsalted Peanuts

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon, chemical engineer, and astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. (1965 - ) was a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission.

Employment

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Northwestern University

NASA Johnson Space Center

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658200">Tape: 1 Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658201">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658202">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658203">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his parent's civil rights activism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658204">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his maternal grandparents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658205">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658206">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658207">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658208">Tape: 1 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658209">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his father and when his parents first started dating</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658210">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658211">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658212">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658213">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658214">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658215">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers developing an interest in science</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658216">Tape: 2 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his early influences</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658217">Tape: 3 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his aspiration to become a pilot</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658218">Tape: 3 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers moving to Denmark, South Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658219">Tape: 3 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658220">Tape: 3 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658221">Tape: 3 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his first year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658222">Tape: 3 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his experiences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658223">Tape: 3 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the MIT Black Students' Union</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658224">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658225">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658226">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the black faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658227">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the influence of black astronauts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658228">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to study chemical engineering</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658229">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his decision to study medicine</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658230">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his dual graduate degree program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658231">Tape: 4 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his black peers and professors at Harvard Medical School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658232">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658233">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his curriculum track at Harvard Medical School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658234">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Mae Jemison</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658235">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Harvard Medical School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658236">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his Ph.D. degree program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658237">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. reflects upon his decision to complete a dual degree graduate program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658238">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his interest in orthopedic surgery</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658239">Tape: 5 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his residency at the University of California, San Francisco</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658240">Tape: 6 Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658241">Tape: 6 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the influence of Emily Morey Holton</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658242">Tape: 6 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls applying to become an astronaut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658243">Tape: 6 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his work as a bone cancer surgeon</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658244">Tape: 6 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his selection as an astronaut candidate</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658245">Tape: 6 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his acceptance into the NASA Astronaut Corps</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658246">Tape: 6 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to join the NASA Astronaut Corps</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658247">Tape: 6 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the history of African American astronauts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658248">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658249">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658250">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658251">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658252">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his family's perspective on his work as an astronaut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658253">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his flight assignment</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658254">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers launch day on Space Shuttle Atlantis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658255">Tape: 7 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his crewmates on the Space Shuttle Atlantis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658256">Tape: 8 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658257">Tape: 8 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658258">Tape: 8 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the flight crew for Space Transport System 129 on Space Shuttle Atlantis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658259">Tape: 8 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the process of acclimating to zero gravity</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658260">Tape: 8 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about eating and sleeping in space</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658261">Tape: 8 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes life on the International Space Station</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/658262">Tape: 8 Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the mission schedule for Space Transport System 129</a>

DASession

2$2

DATape

7$8

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2
Transcript
Now I imagine--and correct me if I'm wrong--but you had a, there was a general training that everybody got and then a training around your specialty as a mission specialty--specialist, right?$$Um-hm.$$Okay.$$Yeah, when you start it now, you go through basic training which can be a year and a half or so on average and that's just because you've got all these people from different walks of life and you basically want them to be able to work together and you need to understand what that means too, just to be an astronaut, because you have no clue outside of pretty much what you have seen on TV in a popular culture like everybody else, so yeah. You go through a year of basic, a year and a half of basic training. One of the most important aspects of that training is learning how to fly and the jet trainers and T-38s [Northrop T-38 Talon], and that's a tool that they use for what's called crew resource management. Basically, it's how you work together as a crew in a dynamic environment; you know, in this case a jet but that simulates in a lot of ways of being in a spaceship.$$Now, had you ever flown before?$$Just a little bit. I mean, I had taken private lessons when--towards the end of my residency and fellowship and I was working towards getting my private license, but I hadn't gotten it yet, so I had flown some.$$Okay.$$But never in a supersonic jet, you know, in terms of piloting it, so that was all new. The other thing was we do a lot of training as mission specialists during spacewalk training in this gigantic pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and you go in spacesuits that have been made to be neutrally buoyant under water, so it simulates being in space, and, but you need to be scuba trained. You need to also train, do a lot of training specifically for being able to actually train in that facility, and so, that's part of your basic astronaut training, putting you through that whole process. For some of the water survival and land survival stuff, they sent us to different places. We went to Pensacola [Florida], to the naval flight training school [Naval Air Station Pensacola] there. There was some flight training there. We also went up to Maine to the Acadia national forest [Acadia National Park] to do some of our land survival training.$$This is in case it comes down place that it's not supposed to.$$Right, right. And then, we had training, like in geology; being able to explore landscapes, find important features. In a landscape that will tell you about the evolution of that particular environment. And so, we went out to New Mexico in order to do a lot of that training. Part of it, too, is the astronauts, of course, were the focal point for what NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] does in human exploration. So, whenever they bring in a new class, you need to learn about NASA as an organization. NASA has, I believe, don't quote me on this, if I remember I think it's fourteen centers nationwide, and you go around and visit every center so that the people, the personnel that are at each of these centers have an opportunity to meet you and you have an opportunity to meet them. The spacecraft and the spaceships that we fly on are assembled collectively by all of the centers. It's directed primarily in certain areas, but there are parts and contributions from all of the centers that are brought together and so it's important to go and meet the people that are doing that because you really are entrusting them with your lives when you're flying on a spaceship, and so it's closing that loop so that they have a face, you know. They know that this isn't just some theoretical exercise. It's, you know, these are people that are depending on them, so it establishes that bond and, you know, so it's--its, that's part of your basic training. That's you know, what you do. You continue it also, once you, you know, finish basic training.$And, when you get to the eight and a half minutes you're going, you're traveling at 17,500 miles an hour, which is, if you do the calculation, it's five miles per second, which is actually faster than a bullet, but you're in this gigantic spaceship travelling that fast and, you know, it's as I said, by the time you get to that eight minute mark and you know you're almost getting ready for the engines to stop, you're ready for the engines to stop (laughter) because you know it's really, and I was sitting there and I was having to think about every breath, you know. I was like, man, I gotta think about breathing because my muscles are actually starting to get a little bit tired from having to do this work. So, when the engines cut off and we were officially in space, it was very nice. They cut off and then everything starts exploding and that's kind of a magical moment, you know. It cuts off and I was just anticipating it and I was like, oh man, everything's gonna start floating now. This is gonna be spectacular. And it was. You know. I didn't have one of my gloves. I didn't have it strapped on me the right way, so when I took it off it started floating off, you know, and I'm getting out of the seat and, you know, when you're under your buckle and then all of a sudden you're just floating, you know, and just floating around, it's a spectacular feeling and the one thing that we all do right when it happens is, you know, you go to the window and stare out, just like a bunch of kids, you know, because you want to look out and just take in you know, seeing Earth. It's like you need to mentally verify. I am in space because, again, this is just kind of unique once in a lifetime for many, kind of things, and I just immediately started thinking I want to just remember as much of this as I possibly can. What competes with that, of course, is you have a very busy schedule that you have to adhere to and you have a lot of duties, so--$$Can you remember the first thing you saw when you looked out the window?$$Uh, well, I looked out and I saw the Earth and we were, I think we were over Europe at the time.$$Could you make it out?$$Oh yeah, yeah. I mean, it looks like, yeah, that's what's incredible. It looks just like the globe that you have on your desk, but in vivid colors; just incredibly spectacular, vivid colors. More vivid than you can imagine. It just kind of blows you away, and it just exceeds what you think it's gonna look like, 'cause I had, I was thinking it was gonna look this way but then you see it and just the colors are so brilliant. That hasn't had, the reason is when you're in space you're outside the atmosphere and you're in a vacuum of space and so you have this unfiltered light, and the colors, like I said, are just really spectacular and brilliant and you know there's something that's, in certain ways, very spiritual about how it looks and how it grabs you and affects you. So, at any rate. The other thing that really you notice when you look down on the earth you know, you can see, you actually can see the atmosphere when you look, you know, kind of on a tangent on the earth. Let's say that's the earth and you look right on the side, you actually see the atmosphere, this layer, you know, of gas, oxygen and nitrogen, whatever, adherent to the Earth.$$Does it look like a lot of protection for the Earth?$$Well, no. (Laughter) It looks like a thin, delicate layer. You know, and you realize that it's like this fluid, just like, you know, a gas is basically a fluid, just like water; water much more dense of course, but that's what it looks like. It looks like this fluid that's adherent to the Earth and you realize that's what we breathe and that's, you know, and what it really made me realize is that it's not an infinite entity. It's quantifiable. You can see that and you can see its layer. It's like, well there's only so much of that that's there, you know, and that really kind of brings home the point that it really is a delicate system that we have here and, you know, it's obviously it's coming into focus now with a lot of the global climate changes and everything that are going on, but you really gain a very visceral appreciation for it when you can actually see it like that.$$It becomes more real then--$$It becomes very real (simultaneous).$$--(Simultaneous) that human beings could actually destroy this.$$Right. Yeah, we could definitely do that.

Anthony Johnson

Physicist Anthony M. Johnson was born on May 23, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York to James W. Johnson and Helen Y. Johnson. He initially wanted to study math or chemistry in college until a teacher at Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, New York introduced him to physics. Johnson attended the Polytechnic Institute of New York where he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in physics in 1975. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in physics from the City College of New York in 1981. Johnson conducted his thesis research at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey with support from the Bell Labs Cooperative Research Fellowship Program.

Upon graduation, Johnson was hired at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey as a member of the technical staff in the Quantum Physics and Electronics Research Department. In 1988, Johnson was promoted as a distinguished member of Bell Labs technical staff; and, in 1990, he became part of the Photonic Circuits Research Department. Johnson joined the faculty of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1995 where he served as chairperson, distinguished professor of applied physics, and professor of electrical and computer engineering. In 2003, Johnson was named as Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR). He was then appointed as professor of physics, computer science, and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) where his research focused on ultrafast optics and optoelectronics.

Johnson has authored two book chapters, over seventy scholarly articles, and he has been credited with four U.S. Patents. In addition, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Optics Letters from 1995 to 2001. Between 1991 and 2000, Johnson was elected as a Fellow into several academic and professional organizations, including the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). In 1993, Johnson received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Polytechnic University; and, in 1994, he was honored with the Black Engineer of the Year Special Recognition Award. The American Physical Society presented Johnson with the Edward A. Bouchet Award in 1996. In 2002, Johnson became the first African American to serve as president of the Optical Society of America.

Johnson is married to Dr. Adrienne S. Johnson. They have three adult children, Kimberly, Justin, and Brandon.

Anthony M. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 201

Accession Number

A2013.167

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/25/2013

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

City College of New York

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH44

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brisbane, Australia

Favorite Quote

Work hard, play hard.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/23/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

USA

Favorite Food

seafood, Chitterlings

Short Description

Physicist Anthony Johnson (1954 - ) , a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists, became the first African American elected as president of the Optical Society of American in 2002.

Employment

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Bell Laboratories

Favorite Color

Electric Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1700,52:4360,101:5130,116:10108,181:10588,187:11164,194:11548,199:13180,237:14332,252:17404,287:32796,413:38368,469:38935,478:39664,489:39988,494:40312,499:40798,506:42337,527:43390,542:44119,566:44605,573:45253,582:45982,595:53480,627:54500,645:54920,653:57700,662:60640,677:61352,688:62776,711:63221,717:64556,734:65001,740:66247,760:66692,766:76480,809:77980,836:78430,843:78880,851:79855,866:82968,929:83496,936:84288,947:84640,952:86919,985:87941,998:88233,1003:88744,1011:91140,1063:92740,1097:94340,1120:95300,1133:95780,1139:96580,1166:99620,1223:102602,1231:104872,1260:105232,1266:106024,1353:107780,1359:108080,1364:108455,1370:108755,1375:109505,1396:112505,1456:113255,1467:114005,1486:117114,1513:117444,1519:118236,1536:120831,1575:121195,1580:121650,1586:123015,1606:127864,1649:128488,1657:132294,1680:133218,1692:136560,1730:137820,1749:140844,1788:145854,1832:146184,1838:147042,1853:148120,1870$324,0:10354,134:13107,156:14325,183:15021,194:17283,225:20280,239:21720,256:22080,262:28848,369:30000,389:33312,461:37674,474:39270,505:39574,510:47309,594:49685,644:50477,654:51071,662:56464,703:56756,708:57121,714:57851,725:58581,743:58873,748:67450,833:69774,874:70106,879:70687,888:71102,894:71766,903:72430,913:73675,930:74422,940:78213,949:93829,1152:94298,1161:99323,1250:101936,1295:102606,1311:109356,1383:112944,1455:113565,1466:121914,1566:123696,1594:124020,1599:124425,1605:124992,1613:128570,1653
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26763">Tape: 1 Slating of Anthony Johnson's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26764">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26765">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26766">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26767">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson talks about his parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26768">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26769">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson talks about his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26770">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson describes his childhood household</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26771">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26772">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26773">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson talks about his interests as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26774">Tape: 1 Anthony Johnson describes becoming interested in physics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26775">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson talks about his elementary and junior high schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26776">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson talks about his junior high and high schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26777">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson remembers when the first astronaut was put on the moon</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26778">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson describes his high school interest in science and science fiction</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26779">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson talks about his high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26780">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson describes his decision to pursue his doctoral degree in physics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26781">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson describes being encouraged go to college</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26782">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson describes his time at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26783">Tape: 2 Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26784">Tape: 3 Anthony Johnson talks about his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26785">Tape: 3 Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26786">Tape: 3 Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26787">Tape: 3 Anthony Johnson describes how he met his wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26788">Tape: 3 Anthony Johnson describes his graduate education at Bell Laboratories and the City University of New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26789">Tape: 3 Anthony Johnson describes his doctoral dissertation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26790">Tape: 3 Anthony Johnson describes being hired by Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26791">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson talks about his first experience with the Optical Society of America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26792">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson describes his research at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26793">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson talks about the affirmative action program at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26794">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson reflects on his career at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26795">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson describes his involvement in his professional organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26796">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26797">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson talks about the low numbers of African American physics doctorates</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26798">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson describes his transition from Bell Laboratories to the New Jersey Institute of Technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26799">Tape: 4 Anthony Johnson talks about African American graduate students in physics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26800">Tape: 5 Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26801">Tape: 5 Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26802">Tape: 5 Anthony Johnson talks about the Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment Center</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26803">Tape: 5 Anthony Johnson talks about measuring light and the non-linearity of fibers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26804">Tape: 5 Anthony Johnson describes the quantum cascade laser</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26805">Tape: 5 Anthony Johnson talks about the future of laser technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26806">Tape: 5 Anthony Johnson talks about the limitations of short pulses</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26807">Tape: 6 Anthony Johnson talks about the minority programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26808">Tape: 6 Anthony Johnson talks about the physics department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26809">Tape: 6 Anthony Johnson talks about his family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26810">Tape: 6 Anthony Johnson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26811">Tape: 6 Anthony Johnson reflects on his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26812">Tape: 6 Anthony Johnson talks about the encouragement of his parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/26813">Tape: 6 Anthony Johnson talks about how he would like to be remembered</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

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DATitle
Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories
Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories
Transcript
So, tell us about the Bell Labs [Bell Laboratories] experience in detail, since this is a big deal.$$This was a big deal. So, and it was, you know, it was different, because I had never really left Brooklyn [New York]. So, so I got, I applied to the program. The professor got me the application and I applied, and I got in. And so we had two locations in New Jersey--Murray Hill, New Jersey and Holmdel, New Jersey. Those were the two big research labs. And so, this was called the Bell Labs Summer Research Program for minorities and women. We call it SRP, Summer Research Program. It started in 1974. And so, I was given a choice of working with two physicists who went on to become, you know, very world famous. One was David Austin. And he was doing lasers and opto-electronics. He, after he left Bell Labs he went, he became dean of engineering at Columbia [University, New York, New York]. Then he went on to become provost at Rice University [Houston, Texas], and president of Case Western Reserve [University, Cleveland, Ohio]. And then he finally ended up at--well, he was president of the Covey Institute in Santa Barbara [California]. And they are a philanthropic organization, and does a lot of work in physics. And now he's at UC Santa Barbara [University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California]. And I still keep close ties with him, because he became one of my Ph.D. thesis advisors, eventually. So, my connection with him was very, very strong. And then the other person I had the opportunity to--because I had a choice that first year. His name was Robert Dynes, D-Y-N-E-S. And he was a big name in superconductivity, low temperature physics. But I picked, I think I was more interested in lasers. And I picked Dave Austin, and that was my choice. And how I got into the field altogether was working with him.$Before we leave Bell [Laboratories], I want to ask you about your patents. You've been a part of a number of patents.$$Right. So, I have patents. I have four patents, and they all have to do with high speed optoelectronic devices. And that was, again, quite interesting. And working the patent attorneys and working with my colleagues. I mean they were all, they were not solo, they were collaborations with other researchers at Bell Labs. And I think I have four of those patents. And again, all high speed opto-electronics nature--high speed laser, a device--and we wrote a patent on that. And one of them, I remember has to do with trying to come up with a measurement capability to look at high speed integrated circuits. So you have these, this metallization on the optoelectronic device. And I came up with, with my colleague, we came up with a measurement that where we could actually image the electrical pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we did it by a process called photoemission. We would shine light on the electrode, and the electrons would come off, alright, by the process of photoemission. So, we would, we would do that and then by looking at the timing of when the electrical pulse went in--and when we would use a focus, an optical beam--we could actually get an image of this pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we could measure its speed, whether there were dispersion issues on it, what was slowing it down. And if we could improve that, we might be able to improve the performance of the device. So this was an imaging, a very high speed imaging process, to look at integrated circuits.

Donnell Walton

Physicist Donnell Thaddeus Walton was born on November 8, 1966 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He was one of three children born to Antoinette Williams. Walton attended North Carolina State University and graduated with his B.S. degree in physics and electrical engineering in 1989. Donnell went on to enroll in the University of Michigan where he studied under Dr. Walter Lowe and graduated with his Ph.D. degree in applied physics in 1996. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship with AT & T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey under its Creative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP).

In 1996, Walton was hired as an assistant professor at Howard University where he taught in the physics department until 1999. Walton was then recruited by Corning, Inc. and assigned to the research and development department where he performed and led research in fiber amplifiers and lasers. After serving as project manager of science and technology from 2004 to 2008, he joined Corning, Inc.’s Gorilla Glass team where he was named senior applications engineer. While there, Walton developed products for the burgeoning information and technology sector and worked to extend the applicability of Gorilla Glass. In 2010, Walton was named manager of the Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. In addition, he has authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers in scholarly, peer review journals including Optics Express and Optics Letters.

Walton’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Society of Information Display, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society. In 2013, Walton received the “Outstanding Technical Contribution to Industry Award” from U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology.

Walton lives in Painted Post, New York with his wife, Robin Walton. They have two children: Nina Walton and Donnell Walton, Jr.

Donnell Thaddeus Walton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/11/2013

Last Name

Walton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Thaddeus

Occupation
Schools

University of Michigan

North Carolina State University

Frank Lemon Elementary School

South Mecklenburg High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donnell

Birth City, State, Country

Mt. Clemens

HM ID

WAL19

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sedona, Arizona

Favorite Quote

if I can't change the people I'm around, then I'll change the people I'm around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/8/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Painted Post

Country

USA

Short Description

Physicist Donnell Walton (1966 - ) serves as manager of Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. where he authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers.

Employment

Corning Incorporated

Howard University

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27730">Tape: 1 Slating of Donnell Walton's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27731">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27732">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27733">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' long marriage and his grandmother's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27734">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about his mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27735">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27736">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about his relationship with his biological father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27737">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27738">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about the strong influence of his grandparents, and the impact of his first conversation with his biological father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27739">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27740">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27741">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about his childhood neighborhood in New Haven, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27742">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up in New Haven, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27743">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about his memories of Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s and 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27744">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton describes his experience in elementary school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27745">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about attending Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in New Haven, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27746">Tape: 1 Donnell Walton talks about his childhood interest in sports and reading</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27747">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about his interest in books</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27748">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about the schools he attended, and his interest in sports</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27749">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about his interest in boxing and reading, and his boxing heroes</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27750">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton describes his experience in school in New Haven, Michigan and Charlotte, North Carolina</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27751">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about his motivation to study hard in school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27752">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' deaths</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27753">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's buying him his first computer in 1981</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27754">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about spending a lot of time alone as a child, and his early interest in science</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27755">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about his family's pets in New Haven, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27756">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's death, and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to live with his great-aunt</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27757">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton describes his experience in high school in Charlotte, North Carolina and the influence of his guidance counselor, Ms. Dorothy Floyd</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27758">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about playing football in high school, and receiving an academic and track scholarship to attend North Carolina State University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27759">Tape: 2 Donnell Walton talks about how he was influenced by the Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) summer program at MIT</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27760">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27761">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton talks about majoring in electrical engineering and physics at North Carolina State University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27762">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton talks about receiving an AT&T Cooperative Research Fellowship Program and his experience at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27763">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton talks about his experience at Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27764">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton describes his decision to attend the University of Michigan to pursue his Ph.D. degree in physics, with support from Bell Laboratories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27765">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on optical fiber lasers and the applications of these lasers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27766">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton talks about his mentors at Bell Laboratories and at the University of Michigan, and his research at Argonne National Laboratory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27767">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton describes his experience at Howard University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27768">Tape: 3 Donnell Walton talks about research infrastructure at Howard University, and the important place of scientists in African American history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27769">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton talks about his contributions at Howard University and reflects upon the research programs and funding at HBCUs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27770">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton describes how he was recruited to Corning, Incorporated</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27771">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27772">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton describes his work on high-powered fiber lasers at Corning, Incorporated</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27773">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton talks about the development and applications of Gorilla glass</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27774">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass at Corning, Incorporated, and the importance of communicating science</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27775">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass, and about the different types of glass used in different products</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27776">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton describes how glass breaks</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27777">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton talks about his team of engineers and about how patents work</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27778">Tape: 4 Donnell Walton talks about the various markets for Gorilla glass and his re-deployment at Corning, Incorporated</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27779">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton describes native damage resistance in Gorilla glass</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27780">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton talks about Corning's competitors and its market base</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27781">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton talks about returning to research and development at Corning, Incorporated, and the company's investment in R&D</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27782">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton shares his advice for scientists and engineers contemplating careers in industry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27783">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27784">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27785">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton talks about his family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27786">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton talks about how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/27787">Tape: 5 Donnell Walton talks about Corning's involvement in educational and mentoring programs for minorities</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University
Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated
Transcript
Okay, North Carolina State University [Raleigh, North Carolina]. This is 1984?$$Yeah.$$Okay, 1984. This is a big--the year of "Run Jesse Run." And you know, so what was North Carolina--was that the year North Carolina State [University] won the basketball--$$No, it was one or two years before, I think. It was '82 [1982], maybe?$$Yeah, '82 [1982], or '83 [1983]. Yeah, I think you're right. With Dereck Whittenburg [college basketball player] and all those guys, yeah.$$Yeah.$$Alright.$$I don't know if you've seen it, but that--what was it--"30 for 30"--the thing they--the sports thing. They did this special on that. That was amazingly well done, very well done. Yeah, yeah. That was--so, I came there--similar to when I came to North Carolina--my high school [South Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte, North Carolina] was right off this huge championship. So, people were very full of NC [North Carolina] State when I got there.$$Okay.$$I wasn't a basketball fan, so I didn't really know that, until I got there.$$Alright. So, what was North Carolina State like? Was it a welcoming environment? What was it like for African American students?$$Yeah, so there was a lot of--like you mentioned--we had several African American coordinators there, to make sure--So, I was an electrical engineering major at that time. And we had an orientation only for, you know, a black freshman orientation, where you get to meet other, you know, people that would be your peers. So, it was--they worked hard. There were some key people there that worked hard to make it as welcoming as it could be. So, you end up making some very lifelong friends. [North Carolina] State [University] was a good place. It was different. It was big, but I felt prepared. Again, you know, I didn't want to lose again like I had done a couple summers before--or the summer before. So it turns out I was pretty well prepared, it turned out. My high school in Charlotte was--you know, prepared me pretty well. I made some really good friends in classes and on campus.$$Okay. I mean--were you involved in other campus activities other than your science courses?$$As a freshman? I was just running track, which was almost year round then. And just doing, yeah, just doing courses, not much as a freshman then. As a sophomore I ended up, you know, getting more involved in the Black Student Union, the Peer Mentor Program, becoming a mentor, pledging a fraternity, and stuff like that. So--$$Okay. What fraternity did you pledge?$$Omega.$$Okay, Omega Psi Phi, alright. So, were there any key teachers or counselors at--$$Yeah, so we had a guy in engineering. His name was Bobby Pettis. He was a minority coordinator, and he was instrumental--I still talk with friends about him.$$Is that P-E-T-T-U-S, or--$$I-S.$$Okay, I-S. Alright.$$Yeah. He was, he had intimate relationships with the students. He knew us well. He kept them honest. He, you know, made sure things--He did as much as he could to be almost like a family there, you know, in this huge environment. So, yeah. And then there was a woman--and then later I ended up adding physics as a major. And then that's another college. That's the College of Physical [and] Mathematical Sciences. So, his counterpart there is Wandra Hill, same thing. She's very--did as much as they could to make things welcoming and connect people.$$Wandra. W-A-N-D-R-A?$$Uh huh.$$Okay. So, are either one of them still there?$$Wandra Hill may have retired. And Mr. Pettis passed, I would say maybe in the--he must have passed in the eighties. I think she retired since I've been here [Corning, Inc., New York State]. So the last five or ten years, she must have retired.$Now, are you aware of something called, was it the Awareness Quality Improvement Team [at Corning, Incorporated, Elmira, New York]?$$At that time, the AQIT. Yes, absolutely.$$Okay. Now, tell us what that is, and what--$$Yeah. So like it's, it was an African American, what we call affinity groups. You know, it was, like what we were talking about earlier with the people at NC [North Carolina] State [University, Raleigh, North Carolina] who were trying to work to make it an inclusive environment. AQIT was started to make it a more inclusive--or the awareness--was to, to increase awareness of the presence of non--you know, underrepresented groups, particularly African Americans at that time. So, it was started, I guess, right around 198--, in the eighties. I think I want to say it was like '84 [1984], '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$And now, it's called the Black Technical Network. It got re-branded, but still doing the same things--trying to make a better environment, a more inclusive environment for everyone, starting with African Americans.$$Okay, okay. Now, so, so there was a community of African Americans here at--$$Small, it's grown. But it was--so it was, yeah, but absolutely, yeah. And it's a very--both inside the company and in the outside, external community. Most of us, since we all work for the same company, we all know each other. Our kids are the same age. So, actually, one of the ironies is that my wife and I moved here from Silver Spring, Maryland. And our neighborhood here is more diverse than our neighborhood was in Silver Spring, you know. I mean, not black. We have about six black families--it's a small neighborhood, six black families; many Asian families; Indian, Chinese, Korean. But whites may be, maybe 50 percent white. So, it's pretty interesting. But almost everyone in the neighborhood works for Corning.$$Okay. So, what would you say the percentage of black employees are?$$In the company, in the corporation?$$Uh huh.$$I'd put it at about maybe 7 percent.$$Okay, alright. That would be--that makes sense on some level, because it wouldn't reflect the blacks at 11 percent of the population of the country. But college graduates aside, those are, you know--technical people are much smaller.$$Right.$$So, Corning may be doing better than--$$Yeah, it's one of those best kept secrets. I think also--and of those 7 [percent]--most, the vast majority of us, I'd say somewhere around 80 percent of us are technical. I mean science and engineering, you know. And the other 20 [percent] is HR [human resources] and finance, but most of us are engineers.$$Okay, okay. That's interesting.

Omowunmi Sadik

Professor, chemist, and inventor Omowunmi “Wunmi” A. Sadik was born in 1964 in Lagos, Nigeria. Growing up in Nigeria, Sadik was introduced to science by her father, who was a pharmaceutical technician. There were three physicians, one civil engineer, and two nurse practitioners in her family as well. In high school, Sadik was interested in physics, chemistry, and biology. She graduated from the University of Lagos in Nigeria with her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1985 and her M.S. degree in chemistry in 1987. Sadik received her Ph.D. degree in chemistry in 1994 at Wollongong University in Australia. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Research Council (NRC) from 1994 to 1996 to conduct research at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In 1996, Sadik was appointed as an assistant professor of chemistry at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. From 2000 to 2003, Sadik held visiting appointments at the Naval Research Laboratories, Cornell University, and Harvard University. In 2002, she was promoted to associate professor of chemistry at SUNY-Binghamton; and, in 2005, Sadik became a full professor and was appointed director of SUNY-Binghamton’s Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems (CASE). Sadik’s research interests are in surface chemistry with a focus on sensors, environmental chemistry and conducting polymers. She has co-authored over 135 peer-reviewed research papers and patent applications, has given 121 keynote and invited lectures, as well as contributed 178 conference lectures, posters, symposia and workshops. Sadik was awarded four U.S. patents for her work on biosensors.

In 2011, Sadik chaired the inaugural “Gordon Conference on Environmental Nanotechnology.” She was appointed to the National Institutes of Health Study Panel on Instrumentation and Systems Development, and has made contributions to scientific and government organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, American Chemical Society and National Science Foundation. Sadik has received over $5 million in funding and contracts both from the private sector and government agencies. In 2012, Sadik co-founded the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO), a non-profit, international professional society dedicated to advancing sustainable nanotechnology around the world through education, research, and promotion of responsible growth of nanotechnology.

Sadik has been awarded Harvard University’s Distinguished Radcliffe Fellowship, the NSF Discovery Corps Senior Fellowship, the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Research, the Australian Merit Award, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Inventor, and National Research Council (NRC) COBASE fellowship. Sadik was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2010 and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2012.

Professor, chemist and an inventor Omowunmi “Wunmi” A. Sadik was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.175

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/10/2013

Last Name

Sadik

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

University of Wollonong

University of Lagos

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Omowunmi

Birth City, State, Country

Lagos

HM ID

SAD01

Favorite Season

Fall

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/19/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Binghamton

Country

Nigeria

Favorite Food

Rice (Jollof)

Short Description

Chemistry professor Omowunmi Sadik (1964 - ) was director of the Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems (CASE) at the State University of New York at Binghamton. She was also elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

Employment

State University of New York at Binghamton

Harvard University Radcliffe Institute

Cornell University

Favorite Color

Mint

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626452">Tape: 1 Slating of Omowunmi Sadik's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626453">Tape: 1 Omowunmi Sadik lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626454">Tape: 1 Omowunmi Sadik describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626455">Tape: 1 Omowunmi Sadik discusses the oral history traditions of the Yoruba people of Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626456">Tape: 1 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the preservation of the traditions of the Yoruba people of Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626457">Tape: 1 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father's training as a pharmaceutical technologist</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626458">Tape: 1 Omowunmi Sadik describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626459">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the Yoruba Civil War, the Egba people, and the history of the establishment of the city of Abeokuta</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626460">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father's career as a pharmacist and a businessman</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626461">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her grandmother's store in Lagos</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626462">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik speculates upon how her parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626463">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik describes her likeness to her parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626464">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her siblings and their occupations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626465">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik describes her earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626466">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik describes her early interest in African history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626467">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Lagos, Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626468">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father's practice of Islam, and her experience in elementary school in Lagos, Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626469">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik talks about Nigeria's independence in 1960, the Biafran War, and the city of Lagos</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626470">Tape: 2 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father reaching her science and math in grade school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626471">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the value of education in the Nigerian community, and her family's education in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626472">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik talks about attending high school at a boarding school in Abeokuta, Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626473">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik reflects about religious harmony in Nigeria and the spread of Christianity and Islam</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626474">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik describes her experience in high school in Abeokuta, Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626475">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to attend the University of Lagos for her undergraduate studies</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626476">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to major in chemistry at the University of Lagos</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626477">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik describes how she convinced her mother that she could find a job as a chemist</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626478">Tape: 3 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her interest in organic chemistry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626479">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik describes her experience at the University of Lagos</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626480">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik reflects upon her experience as a woman in science in Nigeria</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626481">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik describes her interest in analytical chemistry at the University of Lagos</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626482">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik describes her social life at the University of Lagos</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626483">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the Nigerian environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the environmental and the political scene in Nigeria in the 1980s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626484">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik describes her master's degree research on determining the level of heavy metals in Nigerian fruits and vegetables</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626485">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at the University of Wollongong in Australia - part one</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626486">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at the University of Wollongong in Australia - part two</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626487">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her interest in conducting polymers, their applications, and going to the University of Wollongong</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626488">Tape: 4 Omowunmi Sadik describes her Ph.D. dissertation research on conducting polymers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626489">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her family, her decision to pursue her Ph.D. degree in Australia, and the international community there</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626490">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik talks about receiving a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626491">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her initial impression of Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626492">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her work with environmental sensors at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626493">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik describes environmental sensor systems, and their applications as bio-sensors for pain</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626494">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to join the faculty at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626495">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research with sensors at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626496">Tape: 5 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research with sensors for nanoparticles</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626497">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the applications of conducting polymers in chromium detoxification and water purification</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626498">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about funding for her research, and training of undergraduate and graduate students</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626499">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the demographics of her research group, and her involvement in service at SUNY Binghamton</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626500">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her patents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626501">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about serving as a visiting research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626502">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about becoming tenured at the State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626503">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the electronic nose technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626504">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her work with HIV sensors</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626505">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about being elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2010</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626506">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her interest in academic research</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626507">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research on pain biosensors and sensors for nanoparticles</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626508">Tape: 6 Omowunmi Sadik talks about the students whom she has mentored, and the impact of the African professional community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626509">Tape: 7 Omowunmi Sadik describes an example of her role as a mentor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626510">Tape: 7 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her collaborators and the funding strategy for the Center for Advanced Sensor Research and Environmental Systems (CASE)</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626511">Tape: 7 Omowunmi Sadik reflects upon her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626512">Tape: 7 Omowunmi Sadik describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626513">Tape: 7 Omowunmi Sadik talks about her family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626514">Tape: 7 Omowunmi Sadik talks about how she would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/626515">Tape: 7 Omowunmi Sadik describes her photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Omowunmi Sadik describes her experience in high school in Abeokuta, Nigeria
Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research with sensors for nanoparticles
Transcript
So you're in a Baptist school in Abeokuta [Ogun State, Nigeria]. And--$$Abeokuta.$$--so, now, is this, now, in high school, is this where you have to kind of choose a path--$$Yes.$$--you're gonna take, whether it's gonna be in literary arts or--$$That's right.$$--in science, hard science, right?$$Yes, that's what you do. So the first three years, you take all the subjects, you know, civics, social studies, geography, history, English, math. You take Yoruba, the English literature, economics. But when you get to, towards the end of your third year, you now start taking the, you know, the solid science. You're doing physics, chemistry. You're taking calculus, ad [advanced] maths [mathematics] and things like that. When you get to the fourth year, you're separated. So you separate into A, B and C. A, being the sciences, B, being the arts, and C being the commerce, the commercial. So we do A, B and C. So if you get to be in form 4-A, so you're getting towards the scientific part of it. So you're getting prepared for the West African School Certificate. And so you take that in the fifth year, but they start preparing you from the fourth year. You start going to the labs. You're taking biological sciences, earth sciences. So you do labs. So you're now separating. You can still take some arts subject if you like. Like I took history even though I was in the science, I still like the--I did History 12, or geography, the English literature. We learned so many of Wole Soyinka's [Nigerian playwright and poet] and Chenua Achebe's [Nigerian novelist, poet, professor and critic], many of the literature, many of their (unclear), the plays that they have written.$$Okay, so at this level in high school, were there any major mentors or teachers that you remember that really helped?$$Yes, in high school, yes. I remember one history teacher who also taught us literature, Mr. Sanya Olu. That was his name.$$How do you--Mr.--$$Sanya, S-A-N-Y-A, Olu, O-L-U.$$Okay.$$And he was a great teacher. We just, I just liked the way he taught and I remember one day, once they gave us the textbook at the beginning of the semester, I just read it. I really, I read it. I just finish it before we even get to it in the class because that was the only thing I could, you know, I didn't--I like to read everything. And I didn't have a lot of books, so other than going to the library, any book that's given to me, I just keep reading. So I read it. And he came to class and was gonna introduce his subject. I can't remember exactly what the subject was, and I--he asked a question, and I gave the answer. It must have been a very, I don't know how profound the answer I gave. (laughter) But he gave me a copy of the book, and he signed it. And he said, you are university material. I remember he, him saying that to me, that you are a college material. You're gonna go to university. And at that time, I had, I wasn't even thinking about that.$$Okay, all right. Even though there were older brothers and sisters going into--$$They were doing it, yeah, to go to nursing school, you do it, you probably go to nursing school (unclear). My brother went to university, we were still both young--.$$So that's not as high--it's not, that's not like going to university?$$No, no.$$Okay, all right, I hear you. Okay, so Mr. Olu, you know, inspired you. Now, did you, when you were studying the history, did you talk about some of the scientific discoveries in West Africa back in the day?$$Not at all. My science background, I just liked the--I remember my first time in the chemistry lab was, I can't remember the instructor's name. But he was teaching us, he was showing all the different glass wares, like the condensers, the Libby condensers, and we were drawing--I was just so very interested in it. And I went to physics class, and we did the light travels in a straight line. And because I was in boarding school, I got back to school to the hostel, we call it, and I was trying to actually set up this experiment on my own. In boarding school, we start prep class at eight o'clock after dinner. And we have to keep studying until ten o'clock. And so I stood there, I sat there--most of the kids were already sleeping, they're tired. But I had a candle, we write with (unclear) candles and lanterns. So I had the candle lit on one end, and I had two cardboards with holes made in it. And I was trying to see the light traveling through that cardboard. And I was so busy doing it, and I had my head on the other side. I didn't know that the school principal was behind me and watching me. (laughter) And as soon as I saw him, I tried to, you know, turn everything off. And he said, no, no, keep, keep, you know, keep doing it. You're fine. (Laughter) You know, because you're not allowed to, you know, do anything other than the ordinary. But I just wanted to see how it happens. So--$$So were you able to see it?$$Yes, oh, yes, I did. I would always study things on myself. I would look for things to make it out of my own, you know, anything I can find.$$Okay, so you were confirming what you were learning in school?$$What I was learning in school, yeah.$$Okay, all right.$Now, what is a nano particle for the uninitiated (laughter)? A small--$$Yeah, you know, one-billionth of a meter. So it's really tiny.$$It can only be detected through instrumentation, right?$$Yes, so you have to use highly, high resolution, scanning electron micrographs or transmission electron micrograph to be able to see that.$$Okay, and what is the danger of nano particles in your clothing (laughter)?$$Now, we can actually buy nano particles, nano silver-impregnated socks and consumer products because some of these particles are believed to have anti-microbial properties. And so the issue then would be they kill the bacteria, and you take many of the socks, and you wash them off or you, you know, dispose of the consumer products anyhow, there might be some unintended consequences of exposure to the nano particles. And so now, we're trying to understand the possible transformation of the particles, starting from the time they were made to the time they--the lifetime, the whole life cycle of the particles in the environment and back to the grave, what we call the "cradle to grave," you know, starting from the product to the time it's disposed of by the user.$$Okay, all right, so that--and the socks models are a good example of nano particles in your--$$That's right.$$--in clothing.$$Yep, they're used now in many ways. The nano particles are gonna be part of the future. They, you have nano particles in consumer products, in food packaging because they preserve the food. They kill the bacteria. They're, you know, they have nano particles in toothpaste, many of the cosmetics, and personal products that we use at home. So they're gonna be ubiquitous in a few years. And so we're trying to understand the chemistry, the transfor--the changes that would happen. And if they dissolve, what do they form, and whatever is formed, what is the relationship, the reaction of the product resulting from the dissolution with the human body and the environment? We need to understand that. Typically, we wait and play catch up. We wait until things are produced in massive quantities, and they're now being sold, but we want to be able to preempt that by understanding upfront, you know, what the fate and the transportation and the transport and the mechanism of transformation of the particles in the environment and the human body.$$Okay, what else are you doing?$$The nano particles?$$What's the most exciting--is the nano particle sensing the most exciting thing you're doing now?$$Right now, we're doing, we're developing sensors for nano particles, we're making--again, conducting polymers in form of membranes that can used to trap or filter them. So membranes--we just finished some research with Harvard School of Medicine [Cambridge, Massachusetts], where our membranes were being linked, combined with their (unclear) so that you know, we have aerosols of (unclear) or aerosols of ion particles trapped on our membranes. And then the membrane because they're conducting and also electro-active, they can serve as sensors. And so we're using the sensors to serve as filters as well as--the membrane to filter the particles as well as to sense them. So we're linking our work with Harvard. Our work is just coming out, our publication.