Dr. Yvonne A. (Akpalu) Kielhorn will be our keynote speaker!
Kielhorn Short Biography
Dr. Yvonne A. (Akpalu) Kielhorn is Founder and CEO of Why Science, and education technology
company providing learning systems empowering educators to increase student performance with realworld
STEM learning. She is a Ph.D. scientist & engineer with extensive R&D experience and expertise
creating business and research relationships to develop useful products from simple ideas. Her scientific,
and leadership abilities have been recognized by multiple research, education and entrepreneurship
Women of Innovation 2012 Entrepreneurship and Leadership Finalist
Connecticut Technology Council 2010, 2011 and 2012 Technology Company to Watch
Connecticut Small Business Development Center 2009 Achiever Award
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2007 Martin Luther King Faculty/Staff Award for faculty and staff
engaged in activities fostering academic excellence and leadership skills in minority students
National Nanotechnology Initiative 2005 Early Career Scientist Scholarship Winner X-ray and
Paul W. Schmidt Award 2000 Small-Angle Methods and Applied Small-Angle Scattering
Before founding Why Science in 2009, she served as a member of the Chemistry & Polymer Science
faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. At RPI she secured over $1.1 million in grants for scientific
research, supervised and mentored 43 students (22 undergraduate, 13 graduate) in chemistry,
engineering and management. She also graduated 3 Ph. D. and 4 Master of Science students.
She holds a Ph. D. in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
and a B. A. in Chemistry (High Honors) and Physics from Smith College.