Episode 139: Combining Engineering and Research at the Air Force Research Laboratory
In this SWE Diverse episode, Heather Doty, FY21 president of SWE, speaks with Dr. Nia Peters, a research electrical engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Dayton, Ohio. Fluent in Japanese, French, and Brazilian Portuguese, Dr. Peters has blended her love for language learning development with research on natural language processing technologies. Learn more about her background, what it’s like working for AFRL and how her work is changing the way we look at language.
Dr. Nia Peters
Nia Peters is a research electrical engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, OH. She received her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, a master’s degree in software engineering from Auburn University and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Howard University. She is fluent in Japanese, French, and Brazilian Portuguese. Along with engaging in formal studies in the field of electrical & computer engineering, Dr. Peters has blended her love for language learning development with research on natural language processing technologies. Her research focus is on the design of spoken and natural language processing interfaces that facilitate human-machine collaboration and teaming.
She studied abroad in Brazil and Japan and served in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa. As a result, she speaks fluent Portuguese, Japanese, and French. She is also the recipient of a myriad of scholarships and fellowships that include the Howard University Legacy Scholarship, the Morgan Stanley Scholarship, the Honeywell Innovators Scholarship, the Google Scholarship (for undergraduate and graduate study), the Microsoft Scholarship, the National Science Foundation Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship, GEM Fellowship, Carnegie Mellon Dean’s Fellowship, and the Department of Defense Science Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship. She is also a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Phi Sigma Rho.
Dr. Peters’s experiences in the academy have heightened her interest in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics, (STEM) among American students. She is committed to working to retain the number of students who enter advanced degree programs in STEM areas in general and in computational science and engineering specifically. Nia is married to Jason Peters and they have two daughters Sydney (5) and Elle (2) who they are currently raising bilingual in English and French.
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