Women's Activism NYC

Hattie Carwell

1948 - Today

By: Abigail Wilson | Date Added:

Hattie Carwell was born on July 17, 1948, in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Ashland, Virginia. She is an African American physicist and retired scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy. Carwell grew up in a nurturing black community in Ashland, Virginia, which encouraged her interest in science. Early in life Carwell showed an interest in science that would be the driving factor for her career later in life. After graduating from high school in 1966, she enrolled at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina. Carwell earned her B.S. degree in chemistry from Bennett College in 1971. She went on to earn her M.S. degree in health physics from Rutgers University in 1971. After graduating from Rutgers University, Carwell obtained a position with the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Atomic Energy Agency as a health physicist and nuclear safeguards group leader. She worked both nationally and internationally for the agency. Carwell went on to work in Vienna, Austria where she served as a nuclear safeguards inspector and group leader at the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1980 to 1985. In 1990, she moved to Oakland, California, and became a program manager for high energy and nuclear programs with the Department of Energy’s San Francisco Operations Office. Later, Carwell became a senior facility operations engineer at Berkeley in 1992. In 1994, she was promoted to operations lead, a position in which she held until 2006. She later became a senior physical scientist before retiring in 2008. Carwell has written numerous research articles and two books including, Blacks in Science: Astrophysicist to Zoologist. Carwell is a Board Member of the Northern California Council of Black Professional Engineers, an organization of which she is a past President. Hattie Carwell is very active in the community. She is treasurer for the National Council of Black Engineers and Scientists, co-founder and chair of the Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology, and Director of the Museum of African American Technology (MAAT) Science Village. MAAT Science Village archives information on the achievements of Africa American in science and engineering. For her work with DOE she has received numerous performance awards. Bennett College has awarded and recognized Hattie Carwell as distinguished alumnae and she has also been included in the Black College Hall of Fame. She is also the coordinator for the Coalition of Hispanic, African and Native Americans for the Next Generation of Engineers and Scientists (CHANGES).

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