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Instrument Project Manager and Technologist, NASA GSFC
Dr. Aprille Ericsson obtained her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from M.I.T. She was the first female (and the first African-American female) to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Howard University and the first African-American female at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to receive a Ph.D. in engineering. She has won many awards, including the 1997 "Women in Science and Engineering" award for the best female engineer in the federal government and the 1999 NASA Goddard Honor Award for Excellence in Outreach (Individual). She is currently the instrument manager for a proposed mission to bring dust from the Martian lower atmosphere back to Earth among many other projects both completed and still working on. An abundance of her NASA career has been spent researching the ability of spacecrafts to handle aerodynamic pressures, such as altitudes and gravitational pulls. Among her many awards are the NASA Goddard Honor Award for Excellence in Outreach (1998), the NASA Center of Excellence Award for the TRMM Project (1998), the NASA Customer Service Excellence Award for MAP Flight Software (1999), and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2002).