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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Black Pioneers in Energy | Department of Energy

Annie Easley was known as a “human computer” for the work she did analyzing problems and making calculations by hand at the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio. Born in 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama, Easley was confronted by racial segregation in the Jim Crow South during her early education and throughout her life. In 1955, when Easley joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, known now as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), she was one of only four Black employees among the agency’s 2,500 employees. The Lab, known now as the NASA Glenn Research Center, was in need of people with strong math skills, and she was in need of a job after recently relocating from Birmingham.  Later, as a computer programmer, Easley worked on the development of the Centaur rocket, which helped lay the groundwork for future launches of satellites, space probes and future space shuttles. Toward the end of her 34-year career, Easley also worked on a variety of energy projects, including the development of storage batteries used in electric vehicles, a project examining damage to the ozone layer, and the development of computer applications used in researching energy-conversion systems and analyzing alternative power technology.

Official news published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/black-pioneers-energy

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