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From mentoring the first all-female team in an autonomous underwater vehicle competition to co-organizing the first circuits and systems workshop in Ghana, Dr. Judy Amanor-Boadu ’13, ’18 is a trailblazer.

She makes a difference in the lives of everyone she meets, mentoring students as an academic associate for the Engineering Projects in Community Service course at Arizona State University and overseeing a team as a technical lead at Intel Corporation.

She was recently recognized for her success as a recipient of The Association of Former Students’ 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight. This annual award honors 12 former students who have graduated from Texas A&M University in the last 12 years and are leaders in service and business.

Photo of Judy Amanor-Boadu.
Dr. Judy Amanor-Boadu ’13, ’18 at The Association of Former Students event to honor recipients. | Image: Courtesy of Dr. Judy Amanor-Boadu.

These Aggies are chosen for exemplifying Texas A&M’s core values of integrity, excellence, selfless service, respect, leadership and loyalty. Amanor-Boadu embodies them all.

“It is a great honor to be chosen,” she said. “Considering everything I’ve done, when I look at a list of my achievements, it feels surreal. It seems like only yesterday I was finishing my degree from Texas A&M. Most importantly, I've been able to achieve this because there were people along the way who really helped me.”

Mentorship: The Gift that Keeps Giving

Among those who helped Amanor-Boadu while she was a student at Texas A&M are her former advisor, Dr. Edgar Sanchez-Sinencio, who encouraged her to pursue a doctorate and, Dr. Shawna Fletcher, the director of Women in Engineering. 

“My encounter and participation in the Women in Engineering Program was one of the turning points in my life,” she said.

Fletcher launched the first autonomous underwater vehicle team and brought on Amanor-Boadu as a mentor to the students. Under Fletcher’s direction, the team entered the international student competition known as RoboSub.

“In the history of the competition, they had never had an all-female team before,” Amanor-Boadu said.

In the beginning of the competition, the team struggled to operate their robots, but on the last day of qualification for the semifinals, they triumphed.

My mentors helped change the course of my life. It is my job now to mentor my team and make sure they're growing professionally and technically.

Dr. Judy Amanor-Boadu

“It felt like one of those movies where people go through trials and tribulations, and then the very last day, they make it,” Amanor-Boadu said. “We ended up qualifying for the semifinals. Seeing the joy on the faces of the young women who participated in this competition for the first time was really inspirational to me because they never gave up. After that, we saw the change in the competition. The following year, the number of females that participated in the competition increased as a whole.”

We saw the effects that the Texas A&M Women in Engineering AUV team brought to that competition. We charted a path for others to follow.”

Her gratitude for the guidance she received at Texas A&M fuels her passion for helping others today as a technical lead for Intel. Amanor-Boadu supports and directs colleagues from around the world to design power delivery for the next data center service central processing units.

“Mentoring is very important to me,” she said. “My mentors helped change the course of my life. It is my job now to mentor my team and make sure they're growing professionally and technically.”

Overcoming Challenges

She enjoys brainstorming with others, working to solve complex issues, devising new methods for completing tasks and ensuring design targets are met for specific products. Along the way, she keeps a transferable skillset in mind when adapting to new technologies and communicating technically with others. She also maintains a growth mindset when approaching different situations and learning how to deal with bias.

“When you go into the workforce as a minority, coming in with a higher degree, people tend to have their own biases,” Amanor-Boadu said. “But having learned that from school, you're able to figure out how to deal with it and overcome those biases.”

Educational Path

I needed to choose my own course. And that's what I did.

Dr. Judy Amanor-Boadu

In 2010, Amanor-Boadu graduated with an undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in Ghana. While completing her undergrad, she and two other students were chosen to attend a semester abroad in electrical engineering at Texas A&M through Texas Instruments.

“We had the opportunity to come back after graduation to complete your master’s in analog and mixed signal integrated circuit design,” she said. “It was a good opportunity to have a taste of what this type of research was like, and I enjoyed it so much that I came back for my master's degree.”

She finished her master’s in 2013 and doctoral degree in 2018 in electrical and electronics engineering from Texas A&M. In 2022, she received a mini-Master of Business Administration certificate for Engineering and Technology Managers from Rutgers Business School.

“At one point, I wanted to quit my Ph.D.,” Amanor-Boadu said. “Being in a doctoral program is very difficult, especially when you need to publish in top-tier journals, and your research is not going as planned. I worked for two years with someone on a project, and they gave up on it. It felt like two years of my life went down the drain. I fell down, got up, shook the dust off and charted my own course. I chose a different direction to do my research, published my papers, met the requirements, and I graduated. That was a very low moment for me, but I decided I can't let somebody define my path. I needed to choose my own course. And that's what I did.”

Advice for Future Electrical Engineers

Amanor-Boadu chose electrical engineering because it’s a versatile field with abundant job opportunities. And although classes may be difficult, she found it’s worth the work to pursue electrical.

“I advise students to chart their own course and move forward with their dreams,” she said. “If you want it, create your own path, and you will be successful. And when you need help, seek help. There are always people who are ready to step in when you have challenges in electrical engineering.”