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Award-winning NASA researcher Wendy Okolo to address 2021 NBA-SBL Conference


The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) has unveiled Dr Wendy Okolo as its keynote speaker for the 15th Annual Business Law Conference.

The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) has disclosed that the keynote speaker at its upcoming 15th Annual Business Law Conference will be the renowned Nigerian-born National Aeronautics and Space Administration researcher, Dr Wendy Okolo.


This was disclosed in a statement made available to The Guardian and signed by the Chair of the Conference Media, Publicity & Mobilization subcommittee, Theodora Kio-Lawson.

The NBA-SBL Business Law Conference is scheduled to hold on July 14th and 15th, 2021.

An alumna of the famous Queen’s College, Lagos, Dr Okolo is an aerospace engineering researcher in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA’s Ames Research Centre. She heads a team of engineers working on a space technology project to develop guidance, navigation, and control technologies that will enable accurate landings for deployable entry spacecraft a reality for planetary exploration.

At the age of 26 years, she became the first black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.

At NASA, she has received a number of awards including the 2020 NASA Ames Award for Researcher/Scientist and the 2019 NASA Ames Early Career Researcher Award.

Dr Okolo is also the recipient of the 2019 U.T. Arlington Distinguished Recent Graduate Award, the 2019 Women In Aerospace Award for Initiative, Inspiration & Impact, and the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Most Promising Engineer in the U.S. Government.

Her focus is in the area of systems health monitoring and control systems design with applications to air and space components, vehicles, and systems. To that effect she manages a multi-million-dollar sub-project on a System-Wide Safety Project, leading a team to develop the monitoring, predictive, and mitigation capabilities that will enable the safe operations of unmanned aerial vehicles in the U.S. national airspace.


Dr Okolo, whose keynote address will dwell on the theme of the NBA-SBL conference, “Re-tooling Business for Change: Leveraging the Tech Explosion”, will kick-start conference conversations across several plenary and breakout sessions to explore the fast-developing relationship between frontier technologies, business, and the law.

According to Kio-Lawson, the choice of the young NASA top executive as this year’s keynote speaker was in fulfilment of a promise to offer participants an unusual experience with explosive content and resource at this year’s conference.

“The NBA-SBL is dynamic and forward thinking in its approach to achieving its objectives – which includes capacity building, professional development for members, collaborative efforts to drive policy changes and several other contributions to the bar,” said Kio-Lawson.

She added: “In the aftermath of a pandemic and faced with current realities, it was important that the 2021 theme brought to light the disruptive nature of technology and its transformative impact across the world today, hence our choice of theme, keynote speaker and selection of highly knowledgeable speakers and discussants.”

The 15th Annual Business Conference, which is a hybrid of virtual and in-person attendance, will, amongst other things, spotlight vital topics such as tech innovation and e-governance, the future of digital financial services, alternative currencies in the digital age, global tech trends in law practice management, the role and impact of technology and innovation in bridging the health care deficit in Nigeria, amongst other vital discourse.


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