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Minority Engineers and Inventors. Juan De la Cierva (Sept. 21, 1895 – Dec. 9, 1936). Spanish Civil Engineer Known for his invention of the Autogyro His invention was later utilized in the development of the helicopter. Mario Molina (March 9, 1943 – Present).

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Juan de la cierva sept 21 1895 dec 9 1936 l.jpg
Juan De la Cierva (Sept. 21, 1895 – Dec. 9, 1936)

  • Spanish Civil Engineer

  • Known for his invention of the Autogyro

  • His invention was later utilized in the development of the helicopter


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Mario Molina (March 9, 1943 – Present)

  • Holds a doctoral degree in Chemistry

  • Awarded the Nobel Price in 1995 for Chemistry

  • Awarded for his earlier work his work on explaining the role of CFC’s and the depletion of the ozone layer

  • First and only Mexican to receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry


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Ellen Ochoa (May 10, 1959 – Present)

  • May 10, 1958 - Present

  • Doctorate in Electrical Engineering

  • First U.S. Hispanic women in space

  • Spent 40d 19h 37m in space

  • Co-inventor on three patents

    • Optical inspection system

    • Optical object recognition method

    • Method for removing noise from images


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Luis Walter Alvarez (June 13, 1911 – Sept. 1, 1988)

  • Doctorate of Physics

  • Worked on the Manhattan Project

  • Received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968

  • Invented the synchrotron

  • Invented a system to help planes land safely in low visibility conditions

  • With his son, proposed the asteroid-impact theory which explains the extinction of the dinosaurs

  • Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1978


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Severo Ochoa (Sept. 24, 1905 – Nov. 1, 1993)

  • Spanish-American Biologist

  • New York University School of Medicine

    • Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

    • Professor of Pharmacology

    • Professor of Biochemistry

    • Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry

  • Received the 1959 Nobel Prize in Psychology or Medicine for work on synthesis of RNA

  • Recipient of the U.S. Medal of Science in 1959


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Mae Jemison MD (Oct. 17, 1956 – Present)

  • Chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher and astronaut

  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering and doctorate in Medicine

  • First African American female to go into space

  • Spent 190 h 30 min 23 s in space

  • Founded The Jemison Group, Inc. which develops technologies to benefit the developing world


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Sarah Goode (1850 - ?)

  • First African American women to be granted a patent

  • Invented the cabinet bed which is also the first “hide-away” bed

    • A bed that folded up and could be used as a cabinet or a desk

  • Started a furniture store in New York City


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Madame C. J. Walker (Dec. 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919)

  • Founded the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company

  • The Company sells hair care and cosmetics

  • It became the largest business owned by an African American in the United States

  • She also became America’s first self-made women millionaire

  • Prominent women’s and African American’s rights activist


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Shirley Ann Jackson (Aug. 5, 1946 – Present)

  • Holds a doctorate in Physics

  • First African-American woman to earn a doctorate degree from MIT

  • Appointed Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (first African American Women to be appointed this position)

  • Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1998

  • Jackson became and is currently the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


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Katherine G. Johnson (Aug. 26, 1918 – Present)

  • Holds degrees in French and Mathematics

  • Began working for NASA and was transferred to the flight research program

  • Helped plot the navigational paths for both manned and unmanned missions

    • John Glenn’s first flight into space

    • Neil Armstrong’s landing and moon walk

    • Earth Resources Satellite

  • Recipient of the Group Achievement Award, NASA's Lunar Spacecraft and Operations

  • Honorary Doctor of Laws from the State University of New York


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Archibald Alexander (1888 - 1958)

  • Degree in Civil Engineering

  • Formed a general contracting firm responsible for….

    • The heating plant and power station for the University of Iowa

    • A sewage treatment plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan

    • An airfield in Tuskegee, Alabama

    • Tidal Basin Bridge in Washington, D.C

    • K Street Freeway

  • Appointed first Republican Territorial Governor of the Virgin Islands by President Eisenhower


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David Crosthwait, Jr. (May 27, 1989 – 1976)

  • Holds a Masters of Engineering

  • Considered an authority on heat transfer, ventilation and air conditioning

  • Received 39 patents relating to heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and air conditioning systems

  • Responsible for designing the heating system for Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller center in New York City

  • Granted an honorary doctoral degree from Purdue University


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Meredith C. Gourdine (Sept. 26, 1929 – Nov. 20, 1998)

  • Doctorate in Engineering Science

  • Pioneered the research of electrogasdynamics

  • Established Gourdine Laboratories, a multi-million dollar research laboratory

  • Responsible for term “Incineraid:” aiding in the removal of smoke from buildings

  • successfully converted natural gas to electricity for everyday use

  • Holds More than 70 patents for his various inventions


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Luis Howard Latimer (Sept. 4, 1848 – 1928)

  • Served in the Civil War

  • Three patented inventions

    • Better light filament manufactures

    • New support for arc lights

    • Better way to attach the bulb filament to the wires

  • Unpatented inventions include improved designs for almost all equipment and steps involved in the lampmaking process

    • Better oven to bake the filaments

    • Glassblowing equipment

    • Better light socket and switch

  • Founding member of the Edison Pioneers


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Frederick McDonald Massiah (December 12, 1886 - July 7, 1975)

  • Degree in Civil Engineering

  • Established a construction business

  • Among the first successful Black contracting engineers in the country

  • Accomplishments

    • Elliptical dome of the Ascension of Our Lord Church

    • William Donner X-Ray Laboratory

    • Sewage disposal plant in Trenton, New Jersey

  • Ahead of his time in his use of reinforcing for concrete

  • Awarded the Harmon Foundation Medal for Engineering


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Caldwell McCoy (June 27, 1933 – Nov. 19, 1990)

  • June 27, 1933 – November 19, 1990

  • Doctor of Science degree in Telecommunications

  • Awarded the Laboratory's Thomas Edison Fellowship in 1968

  • Director of the Information Systems Program at NASA

  • As program manager for the National Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Network

  • Elected to become a member of the Senior Executive Service, the highest rank to be achieved by a civil service employee


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Elijah McCoy (May 2, 1843 – October 10, 1929)

  • Studied Engineering in Scotland

  • Invented an automatic lubricator for oiling the steam engines of locomotives, boats, ect.

  • Held 57 patents mostly related to lubrication, but also including a folding ironing board and a lawn sprinkler

  • Formed the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company


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Garret A. Morgan (March 4, 1877 – July 27, 1963)

  • Invented a hair straightening liquid while trying to improve sewing machines

  • Invented the “breathing device” which was later known as the gas mask

  • Patented the automatic traffic light

  • Started a newspaper called the Cleveland Call


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Percy A. Pierre (January 3, 1939 – Present)

  • Doctor of Science in Electrical Engineering

  • Dean of the School of Engineering at Howard University (1971 to 1977)

  • Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Regulation for the U.S. Department of the Army (1977-1981)

  • President of Prairie View A&M University (1983-89)

  • Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, MSU (1990-1995)

  • Currently a full-time Professor of Electrical Engineering at MSU


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John B. Slaughter (1934 - Present)

  • Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences

  • Director of the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington (1975)

  • Appointed Assistant Director for Astronomics, Atmospherics, Earth and Ocean Sciences at the NSF (1977)

  • Chancellor of the University of Maryland (1982-1988)

  • President of Occidental College in Los Angeles (1988-1999)

  • President and CEO of The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc


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Virgil Trice (February 3, 1926 – Oct. 31, 1997)

  • Master of Science in Industrial Engineering

  • Chemical engineer at the Argonne National Laboratory (1947 - 1971)

  • Nuclear waste management engineer for the Energy Research and Development Administration (1971 - 1977)

  • Senior program analyst for the U.S. Department of Energy (1977 – 1981)

  • Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy (1981 - 1992)

  • Until his death he focused his work on Nuclear Waste Management


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O. S. (Ozzie) Williams (Sept. 2, 1921 – Oct. 31, 1997)

  • M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering

  • First African American hired by Republic Aviation

  • Group project engineer for Greer Hydraulics, Inc. (1956-1962)

  • Worked for Grumman International,

    • Helped develop and produce the guidance systems for NASA’s Apollo Space Program

    • Became vice president in charge of trade and industrial relations with emerging African nations

    • Traveled to West African in 1973 to establish Grumman’s African headquarters


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George Washington Carver (July 12, 1864 – Jan. 5, 1943)

  • Masters of Science in Agricultural Science

  • Directed the department of agriculture at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (1896)

  • As a result of exhaustion of Southern Farms

    • Developed 300 derivative products from peanuts

    • Developed 118 from sweet potatoes

    • This improved demand so farmers could get nitrogen back into the soil and sell the crop because of increased demand

  • Donated his life savings to the establishment of the Carver Research Foundation

  • Produced dyes of 500 different shades during WW2 to replace textile dyes formerly purchased from Europe


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Santiago Ramón y Cajal (May 1, 1852 – Oct. 17, 1934)

  • Spanish histologist, physician and Nobel laureate

  • Obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine

  • Director of the Zaragoza Museum (1879)

  • University Professor at Valencia (1881)

  • Director of the National Institute of Hygiene (1899)

  • Put forth many theories on neurons and electrical synapses

    • Shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906

  • Founder of the Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biológicas (1922)

    • Later named Instituto Cajal

  • Published more than 100 articles in French and Spanish scientific periodicals


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Carlos Finlay (Dec. 3, 1833 – Aug. 20, 1915)

  • Degree in Medicine

  • Opened a medical practice in Havana, Cuba

  • Developed theories on weather conditions and yellow fever

    • Was the first to theorize that the mosquito was a carrier of yellow fever

    • This discovery helped in the construction of the Panama Canal

  • Chief health officer of Cuba (1902 -1909)

  • A monument called El Obelisco was built in Havana in the shape of a syringe to honor Dr. Finlay


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Baruj Benacerraf (Oct. 29, 1920 – Present)

  • Venezuelan-American Immunologist

  • Doctor of Medecine

  • Researcher at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1948–50)

  • Research in Paris (1950–1956)

  • New York University (1956–68)

  • National Institutes of Health (1968–70)

  • Harvard University (1970–91)

  • Shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    • Discovery of the immune response genes that are responsible for transplant rejection

  • Received the National Medal of Science (1990)


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Granville T. Woods (April 23, 1856 – Jan. 30, 1910)

  • 1887, he patented devices for wireless induction telegraphy

  • 1889, he filed his first patent for an improved steam-boiler furnace

  • Patented an apparatus which was a combination of a telephone and a telegrap called a “telegraphony” (1850)

  • Developed the concept of a third raid for trains which is used today in the subway

  • Developed a safe and inexpensive dimmer switch for theaters


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Dr. Patricia E. Bath (Nov. 4, 1942 – Present)

  • Medical Doctorate

  • First African-American woman surgeon at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center.

  • First woman faculty member of the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute

  • First African-American woman to receive a patent for a medical invention

    • She developed a laser device to remove cataracts - “Laserphaco Probe” (1988)

  • First woman program director of a postgraduate training program in the United States

  • Also the first woman chair of an ophthalmology department (1983 to 1986)

  • founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness and serves as the organization's president


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Otis Boykin (Aug. 20, 1920 – 1982)

  • Attended Fisk University and Illinois Institute of Technology (1946-47)

  • Developed a type of resistor used in computers, radios, television sets, and a variety of electronic devices

  • Responsible for inventing the electrical device used in

    • Guided missiles,

    • IBM computers,

    • Also 26 other electronic devices

  • His resistor designs reduced the cost of producing electronic controls for radio and television, for both military and commercial applications


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Jan Ernst Matzeliger (Sept. 15, 1852 – Aug. 24, 1889)

  • Invented a shoe-lasting machine and patented his invention in 1883

  • Before the invention, shoes were produced in a factory at a rate of 40-50 pairs a day

  • Using the invention, shoe production increased to between 150 to 700 pairs of shoes a day

  • In addition to production, As a result of this invention shoe prices were cut in half across the nation

  • This invention laid the foundation of the shoe industry in the United States and made Lynn, Massachusetts the shoe capital of the world


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References

  • www.nobelprize.org

  • www.aaregistry.com

  • www.sce.com

  • www.math.buffalo.edu

  • www.infoplease.com