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My child-like enthusiasm for advancing aerospace technology and my patriotic obligation to defense dominance is the crossroads where Hyphen Innovations was founded.

My life in science and technology is not the culmination of a childhood dream. In fact, I lacked a clear understanding of an engineer’s contribution to society until I was old enough to buy a beer. Growing up in Nigeria and England, my interests had always gravitated towards the arts; I loved creating the impossible on an open canvas. When I moved back to my birth place of Lansing, Michigan, I added a new medium for creating the impossible: basketball. My unparalleled athleticism provided me the ability to paint picturesque moments on the basketball court, and that ability captured the attention of college coaches nationwide. I accepted a basketball scholarship to play for the Wright State University Raiders in Dayton, Ohio. And at the urging of my father, I majored in a subject I knew nothing about: Mechanical 

Engineering. Why? Because my father knew the classes were easy enough for me to pass while I focused on basketball.

Chapter Two of my story starts with a career ending basketball injury. “You need to figure out what a Mechanical Engineer does,” I told myself. This personal call to action led me to an internship as a Turbine Engine Structures Engineer at the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). A new passion instantly emerged. The canvas was most overwhelming; opportunities for creating the impossible—seemingly endless. I was determined to contribute to the Aerospace Industry. No obstacle would get in my way. Not even a Leukemia diagnosis, which forced me to write my Ph.D. dissertation during a stint in the Intensive Care Unit. The reward for this relentless passion has been a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), The Most Promising Scientist in Government at the STEM Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference, AFRL Early Career Award, and a few AFRL Aerospace System Directorate recognitions for advancing small-scale supersonic propulsion and turbine engine sustainment technologies.


Executing the mission of Hyphen Innovations is the Third Chapter of my journey. Like the previous chapters in my life, I will create the impossible on a canvas that will define the future of Aerospace and Defense technologies.

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