Welcome to Technical.ly’s second annual RealLIST Engineers of Delaware.
After we launched our first round of the RealLIST Engineers in 2020, there was some dialogue over how we had been defining an “engineer” — an issue solver, a technologist and, in the end, a software program and IT skilled. The inaugural record targeted on software program builders. This 12 months, with no repeats allowed, we opened it up a bit to incorporate engineers in STEM fields working in a few of Delaware’s rising industries, together with greentech and healthtech, whereas nonetheless recognizing the neighborhood’s software program engineers.
This record of 11 influential software program and STEM engineers vary from coding instructors to information scientists to STEM startup founders. The search started with a public call for nominations. Then, we consulted technologists and regarded again by means of our personal protection. We thought-about how the individual in thoughts was influential inside their group and neighborhood, how they overcame a particular technical problem, and the way they contributed to educating others on technical points.
This 12 months, lots of the nominees come from teams which might be underrepresented within the trade — although we’re nonetheless seeing a dearth of girls in tech roles. Will packages like Code Differently’s woman-focused coding cohorts make an impression on future RealLIST Engineers lists? We’ll hold a watch out to see.
Now, in alphabetical order, listed here are Technical.ly’s 2021 RealLIST Engineers for Delaware.
Mikaila Akeredolu, technical teacher, Zip Code Wilmington and 12 months Up
Rising up in public housing in Brooklyn, Akeredolu juggled half time work and his schooling, and by no means earned a standard four-year school diploma. He ultimately moved to Delaware and acquired a gross sales rep job with AT&T, earlier than efficiently graduating from Zip Code Wilmington’s software program coding bootcamp, which led him to a jobs as as a software program engineer at Comcast.
Akeredolu later left his company job to return to his love for laptop science and his ardour for schooling: He began Tech552, a technical coaching agency designed to assist folks get into coding bootcamps, in 2019, and ultimately returned to ZCW as an teacher in 2021.
“Mikaila Akeredolu is extraordinarily influential at Zip Code Wilmington, at 12 months Up Wilmington and Wilmington College,” his nominator wrote. “His experience helps to increase Delaware’s place as a number one tech hub. There are a major variety of Wilmington-area graduating seniors who can’t afford to pay the excessive worth of four-year schools and plenty of who have to contribute to their household’s month-to-month earnings, and 12 months Up Wilmington’s software program coding program, which he teaches, could be a solution for these college students, giving them the potential of creating greater than $80,000 a 12 months.”
Mohammed Baksh, analysis fellow, College of Delaware and Delaware Information Innovation Lab
Baksh, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, is researching transportation analytics and laptop imaginative and prescient (suppose: self-driving automobiles recognizing street indicators) as a graduate analysis fellow engaged on his Ph.D. at UD. He acquired his bachelor’s diploma in electrical engineering and grasp’s in electrical and laptop engineering from the varsity, too. He’s at present a knowledge fellow on the community-focused information science org Delaware Data and Innovation Lab (DDIL).
For DDIL, “he not too long ago developed a software that can make execution of the census tract labeling pipeline an open-source product, permitting key customers — primarily authorities, neighborhood, and nonprofit choice makers — to look at and infer findings from their information in a granular format that’s related to their already identified (and in follow) motion and funding plans and greatest represents neighborhoods traits extra particularly” through the use of census tract versus ZIP code, wrote his nominator.
Why does that matter? “ZIP codes usually are not distinctive to a single county and could be troublesome in information interpretation, census tracks are way more focused and dependable and are a greater illustration of focused funding for presidency and nonprofit packages,” the nominator mentioned.
Aundre Chambers, system engineer, WSFS
“Aundre is an envoy for Tech Impression’s ITWorks program, mentoring college students and being a job mannequin for brand spanking new college students that enter this system,” his nominator wrote. “It’s his means of giving again to this system and to his neighborhood. He not too long ago spoke on the ribbon reducing, following Gov. Carney and Sen. Carper, and acquired a standing ovation for his remarks about offering alternatives in expertise.”
L. Dolio Durant, lead technical teacher, Zip Code Wilmington
Durant is an MIT grad with over 20 years of expertise within the discipline, in addition to a widely known persona within the Philly and Delaware tech scene.
“In his present position as lead technical teacher, Dolio not solely teaches the scholars in varied object-oriented programming languages and frameworks, he additionally developed and maintains Zip Code Wilmington’s proprietary portals,” his nominator wrote. “The portals are used to facilitate the web-based elements of the scholars’ studying experiences together with monitoring of assignments, automated testing of Java and Python code, and scoring of examinations, internet hosting of video streams and sophistication visuals, occasion scheduling, and information evaluation.”
That work had outsized significance through the pandemic, they mentioned, and allowed the coding faculty to proceed coaching just about.
“Furthermore, Dolio is a job mannequin for others outdoors of his work,” they mentioned. “He bakes, he grows his personal produce, and he raps. As a member of Gangstagrass, ‘Dolio the Sleuth’ combines distinctive hip-hop lyrics over bluegrass music which brings consciousness to the truth that we’re all extra alike than totally different. Gangstagrass was not too long ago featured on ‘America’s Got Talent‘ and often excursions nationwide and worldwide venues with a message of unity and hope. Dolio is, certainly, a contemporary renaissance man. In tech phrases, Dolio is fact.”
Jalaal Hayes, founder, Elyte Vitality
Hayes acquired his Ph.D. in utilized chemistry in 2015 on the age of twenty-two, after a graduating from Lincoln College and Delaware State College. Whereas he was a pupil in 2011, he labored a three-month internship with NASA and the Maryland Division of Setting, which set him on a path towards a profession in inexperienced expertise — particularly hydrogen vitality.
“I knew hydrogen vitality was going to be the wave of the long run,” he informed Technical.ly in July. “I simply didn’t know when.”
Hayes began Elyte Vitality in November 2020 and was quickly accepted into the Delaware Innovation Area’s Science Inc. Accelerator. The corporate’s inexperienced, renewable hydrogen energy banks, primarily based on the hydrogen storage expertise he patented in 2017, are marketed primarily to the growing RV community.
Von Homer, founder, HXInnovation
Earlier than launching HXInnovations along with his spouse Nicole Homer in June 2019, Von Homer labored straight with footwear corporations, testing growing footwear applied sciences for merchandise together with Skechers Arch Match, Adidas Codechaos or Timberland PRO.
A former soccer participant, Homer first acquired into neuroergonomics after he suffered a extreme hyperextension leg harm which might give him the chance to study, by means of bodily remedy, that athletes didn’t actually know in the event that they had been pushing the boundaries of their physique’s capabilities. He went on to earn a grasp’s in human motion and biomechanics, then a Ph.D. in neuroscience.
For the final two summers, Homer has shared his experience with youngsters in FAME summer camp, the place they study that sports activities and science intersect, and that efficiency footwear is way more than simply cool to have a look at.
Chris Hornberger, CIO and lead developer, Inexperienced Line Enterprise Group
Hornberger is the lead developer of Inexperienced Line Enterprise Group’s new Danio Wellness platform, which goals to disrupt the healthcare hole by combining the corporate’s safe medical info communication system, Danio Diary, with curated telemedicine that prioritizes the wants and issues of the under-resourced whereas being as simply accessible as doable.
Growing a healthcare platform that is really easy to navigate that an individual with little to no expertise with expertise can use it was a problem that took loads of revisions to get proper. The app has attracted a buzz amongst physicians concerned with working with sufferers on the platform, and Inexperienced Line’s staff mentioned it’s in talks for a considerable, probably multimillion greenback deal. The app, which is in testing, is predicted to launch in early 2022, with Hornberger on the lead.
Beforehand, the technologist additionally labored as a longtime senior software program engineer for BlackRock.
Héctor Maldonado-Reis, information scientist and affiliate director, Delaware Information Innovation Lab
Maldonado-Reis, who holds a grasp’s diploma in inhabitants well being sciences from Harvard College, was one in all DDIL’s first fellows after it launched in 2020. He’s now its associate director of analysis, growth and analytics, and runs the identical fellowship program he began in because it continues to supply alternatives for rising information scientists.
“The fellowship, outdoors of the job alternative that it creates, can be knowledgeable growth alternative for Delaware,” Maldonado-Reis informed Technical.ly in September. “A part of it’s that we practice a knowledge scientist, however, additionally, we practice a knowledge scientist in our house, which is a nuance of its personal.”
Joanne Norris, supplies engineer and cofounder, Carbon Reform
Norris is a supplies engineer, local weather scientist and artist. A 3rd-year Ph.D. candidate at UD, launched Carbon Reform with enterprise associate Nick Martin final February. The startup is growing a modular carbon seize machine for industrial buildings that can take away indoor carbon buildup that outcomes when many individuals are in an indoor house respiratory the identical air, even when it’s ventilated.
Norris didn’t essentially got down to be a scientist. An expert artist because the age of 16, she attended Hofstra College with majors in economics and sustainability and a minor in nice arts. The sustainability main was model new on the time — she was solely the second pupil to declare it, as she informed Technical.ly in Might. Whereas incomes her masters in local weather and society at Columbia College, she took a non-required environmental engineering course, the place she first discovered about carbon seize.
“I acquired into the Ph.D. program at UD learning materials science as a result of I used to be questioning if it might assist me do what I’m doing now — convert CO2,” Norris mentioned. “And it does.” She ended up learning polymers, and now, her Ph.D. work is in biodegradable polymer programs.
Juliana Paul, tech lead at Code In a different way
Paul is an alum of the coding bootcamp’s school program, StayReady, and works as a tech lead for its highschool work-based studying program whereas ending her diploma at Delaware State College.
“She simply accomplished an internship with JPMorgan Chase,” added her nominator. And moreover, Paul was not too long ago chosen for the eighth cohort of HBCU Students by the White Home Initiative on Traditionally Black Faculties and Universities, they famous.
Kwaku Temeng, founder, Desikant
Temeng first got here to Delaware to work as DuPont engineer after incomes his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech, in addition to an MBA from The Wharton College. In 2013, he moved on to grow to be director of innovation for Beneath Armour, the place he started working within the discipline of modern attire.
In mid-2020, on the peak of the pandemic, Temeng determined to start out his personal startup, Desikant, which develops good clothes that autonomously monitor humidity and temperature and adapt as wanted, focused towards surgeons, troopers and athletes.
Desikant was the highest awardee on the inaugural Startup302 startup competitors, and it acquired a 2021 EDGE Grant.