Leslie Momoda Wins UCLA Engineering Award

The UCLA Henry Samueli Engineering Professional Achievement Award was presented by Jenn-Ming Yang, Associate Dean of International Initiatives and Online Programs and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. © Tsutsumida Pictures/UCLA Samueli.

HRL Laboratories Vice President Honored by Her Alma Mater with 2018 UCLA Henry Samueli Engineering Professional Achievement Award

HRL Laboratories, LLC, Vice President Leslie Momoda has won the 2018 UCLA Henry Samueli Engineering Professional Achievement Award. This award honors the achievements of UCLA Engineering alumni in their chosen fields, including academia, industry, and entrepreneurship. The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science seeks candidates with distinguished career accomplishments, contributions to the engineering profession, a history of mentorship, and notable service to the community and the profession.

Dr. Leslie Momoda joined HRL Laboratories in 1990 under the mentorship of Mary Young, who was the first female laboratory director at HRL. “When we recruited Leslie out of UCLA’s Engineering department, we saw her exceptional potential in the lab and as a leader,” Young said. “We were fortunate to have her choose HRL and I am delighted that she exceeded all our expectations and continues to do so.”

Momoda has been a lynchpin to materials research at HRL, eventually rising to become the  Director of the Sensors and Materials Laboratory (which recently evolved to become HRL’s Materials and Microsystems Laboratory). She was promoted to be HRL’s Vice President in September 2013.

© Tsutsumida Pictures/UCLA Samueli.

“Looking back across three decades of my own career in science and engineering, unequivocally Leslie is the best technical leader that I have ever met,” said Bill Carter, director of HRL’s Materials and Microelectronics Laboratory and longtime colleague. “She holds herself to the highest standards of integrity and excellence.”

Momoda’s enthusiasm and confident leadership have led to innovations across a wide range of engineering areas. Examples include multiband IR sensing technology with disruptive scalability and cost for the US military; ultralight lattice materials that can displace current honeycomb and foam materials with comparable strength at half the weight; battery management algorithms that enable current hybrid electric vehicles over their lifetime to meet stringent customer expectations; and compact position, navigation, and timing systems with unprecedented performance to enable autonomy and enhanced inertial guidance.

“Leslie is a natural leader,” said HRL Chief Executive Officer Parney Albright. “Besides being a brilliant engineer and still one of HRL’s most referenced researchers, she is a strategic thinker, has a remarkable eye for talent, and inspires her mentees and colleagues. It is to UCLA’s credit that they recognized Leslie’s professional achievement with this award.”

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HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California (hrl.com) is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

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