FAMU alumna Kyra Massey Kennedy becomes patented inventor
FAMU alumna Kyra Massey Kennedy knew early on that the STEM fields were her calling. Having been introduced to engineering through FAMU’s MITE (Minority Introduction to Engineering) Program in the late eighties, in addition to an interest in “cars, engines, robots, gadgets,” Kyra dove right into Mechanical Engineering at FAMU. Although she ultimately switched her major to Mathematics, with a minor in Mechanical Engineering, her experience in the latter launched her toward a plethora of career opportunities.
Before even graduating, Kyra had job offers from AlliedSignal, General Motors, and Hewlett-Packard. She had an impressive resume under her belt, for even prior to her time at FAMU, during her high school years at FAMU’s Developmental Research School, Kyra sealed her place as a budding engineer when she earned 1st place four times at the school Science Fair. Her talent did not go unnoticed by Westelle Florez, a representative from the company Diesel Recon, who made sure Kyra joined the People to People Program, allowing her the opportunity to visit over six cities in Russia as a student ambassador.
When Kyra graduated high school, she was set for college following an offer for a full $40,000 “Life Gets Better” Scholarship. During college, she interned with several companies including Battelle Northwest Laboratories, General Motors, Mobil Oil Corporation, and Ford Motor Company, among others.
Given the experiences Kyra built for herself throughout high school and college, it’s no surprise the job offers came quickly. It’s also no surprise that her latest achievement once again adds to her awe-inspiring resume. These days, Kyra utilizes her background in Mechanical Engineering as an inventor, and for that she now has a patent issued this year for her invention known as a Moisture Alert Pad. What this device does is use various Wi-Fi based technology, e.g., text messaging and email, to alert doctors, nurses, and caretakers when wetness is detected. The idea for the device originated when Kyra’s son soiled himself and his blankets as a baby.
On that fateful moment when her baby boy inspired the idea for the moisture alert pad, Kyra states, “I thought, I wish I could be notified that he wet his blankets and sheets.”
Thus, the idea for the Moisture Alert Pad soon followed. Since Kyra thought of the idea ten years ago, it has evolved into eDevices. Kyra says, “These eDevices send text messages, emails, location information and make phone calls to the programmed recipient. The eDevices consist of the ePad, ePillowcase, eVest, and eMVest (Military Vest).”
Not only does Kyra have a patent for eDevices, but at her company MasKenn Inc., there are several other patent worthy products in line to be marketed.
The study of mechanical engineering no doubt prepared Kyra to bring the idea for eDevices to life, as well as run a company. She herself says, “My Mechanical Engineering background has made me an analytical thinker, able to multitask, a visionary, problem solver, innovation creator, and technology savvy.”
Kyra thanks Florida A&M University for introducing her to the field of Mechanical Engineering at a young age; FAMU DRS for the continued experiences to support her decision to become a Mechanical Engineer; and she gives a special thanks to the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering for allowing her to be featured in FORTUNE Magazine and giving her the skills, experiences, and talents that she uses on a daily basis.
Kyra adds that engineering students can also build successful careers through interning as much as possible, and creatively innovating. Having done so herself, Kyra is making her mark as a patented inventor and company owner, considering partnerships and funding from various sources.