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Monday, October 18, 2021
HomeEducationJamaican Charlyne Smith becomes first black woman to complete PhD in Nuclear...

Jamaican Charlyne Smith becomes first black woman to complete PhD in Nuclear Engineering from University of Florida

Charlyne Smith became the first black woman to completed PhD in nuclear engineering from white dominant university. She is from Jamaica and has done PhD from University of Florida in the United States and worked on the nuclear research reactor that is known as Slowpoke.

Charlyn Smith was born and raised in Jamaica. She was a student of St Catherine High School and graduated last month from the University of Florida.

Smith, after creating history, tweeted, “Mi seh! Wi nuh dun but wi PhinisheD! I’m so honoured to have made history as the first black woman to graduate with a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Florida on the day of Jamaica’s Independence anniversary.”

After getting a scholarship from Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland, she moved for a PhD. She was graduated from the same college in 2017 with a degree in chemistry and mathematics. She was also highlighted in historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) online news site,

Smith gave credit to her grandfather for the memorable success, she said that his grandfather had inspired her to make use of her intelligence and help the people of Jamaica and make Jamaica a better place. 

As a child in St Catherine, Smith dreamed of becoming a scientist and inventor to help resolve some of the basic problems faced by families like hers, those struggling to have electrical power and other good infrastructure.

Highlighting the hardness of living situations in Jamaica, Smith said the difference between the reliable energy available in the US compared with the weak energy usage in Jamaica had moved her to guarantee that the next generation of Jamaican youngsters would never know a day without access to clean water and reliable electricity.


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