Granville Woods was 10 when he began working at a machine shop, while continuing his studies at a night school. He grew up to become a steam locomotive engineer and earned the nickname the Black Edison for his countless inventions, most of which were related to electrical systems for railways.
Then first Black to have graduated from West Point’s Military Academy, Henry Ossian Flipper was born to slave parents. He also became the first African-American to command US Army troops. He was dismissed unjustly on embezzlement charges and later worked as a civil engineer. His name was cleared posthumously.
Ayodele Awojobi was a Nigerian academic, inventor, author, activist, and social crusader. Regarded as a scholarly genius by his peers and teachers alike, Awojobi became the first African to earn a degree of Doctor of Science at the Imperial College London. His research papers in the field of vibration are often referred to and studied by researchers around the world.
Ventilation, heating system, and air conditioning pioneer David Crosthwait was one of the first African-American men to excel in science. Throughout his illustrious career, he managed to gain 80 international patents. He later taught at Purdue University and was presented with an honorary doctorate by the same university.
Kitaw Ejigu was an Ethiopian-American engineer and one of Ethiopia’s first aerospace scientists. He worked for NASA as a system engineer and space research scientist and managed a joint NASA/ESA International Solar Polar Mission Spacecraft Systems Interface. He is also credited with the invention of two aerospace mechanisms which were patented under NASA's new technologies programs.