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Panel: Black Inventors and Innovators Making Their Mark

A partnership with Career Girls
Wednesday, 2/9/2022
10:00 - 10:45

A conversation with Ifueko Nosakhare Igbinedion, Marian Muthui, Cadence Payne and Elizabeth Smith, Black women role models who use their creativity and knowledge to be creators and innovators. Panel moderated by Linda Calhoun, founder of Career Girls. For ages 8–18.

Watch again on YouTube.


Ifueko Nosakhare Igbinedion, a 5th year PhD Student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on building fast computer vision algorithms to efficiently coordinate groups of drones. When she’s not in the lab, Igbinedion is also the co-founder and CTO of Hairtelligence, a start-up company that uses artificial intelligence to customize wigs and hair extensions for women. She is passionate about all things artificial intelligence, and loves showing all the ways we can use AI in our everyday lives.


Marian Muthui, senior product manager at Rivian with a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is dedicated to making a positive impact in communities through user-centered design and research to inform product development. Through her years of experience, she has had the pleasure of working in 6 countries - leading and implementing projects in Healthcare, Education and Energy. Muthui has had the opportunity to lead product strategy and management, implement the deployment of large-scale hardware solutions, and collaborate with international, multi-stakeholder teams in both the private and public sector.


Cadence Payne, a 5th year PhD student in the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the Space Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation Laboratory, with a research focuses on technology development for small spacecraft called CubeSats that observe the Earth. Her current projects involve CubeSats that probe Radio Frequency emission from the Earth's aurora, as well as missions that provide data for climate and weather monitoring via ocean observations. Her ultimate goal is performing meaningful work in the Aerospace industry to support climate change mitigation techniques. Payne is also a co-founder of Aero Astro's AeroAfro, the current president of ACME, co-events chair for the Black Graduate Student Association, and a social chair for her department's graduate association.


Elizabeth Smith, recently retired engineer and Assistant Manager, Systems Engineering and Integration Office, for the Space Station Program at NASA Johnson Space Center. She currently has "hardware flying" by virtue of having designed a mode indicator that helps guide vehicles and equipment docking with the International Space Station.




Prepare for college or a new job with related workshops and skill building.

Connect to engaging discussions and performances related to the Black community.

More Than a Month recognizes important events in Black history, honors community and national leaders and fosters steps towards collective change. Programming features authors, poets and craft classes. 

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact accessibility@sfpl.org. Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Notice: This event may be filmed or photographed. By participating in this event, you consent to have your likeness used for the Library’s archival purposes and promotional materials. If you do not want to be photographed, please inform a staff person or the photographer. A sticker will be provided to help identify you so that we can avoid capturing your image.

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The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.