Pelkins was born in Limbe – a seaside city in the South West Region of Cameroon. With over 300 native languages and diverse climatic zones, Cameroon is nicknamed: "Africa in miniature". Growing up in Cameroon's diversity, Pelkins developed a global interest from childhood. This interest led him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he graduated in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, concentrating in Robotics. Pelkins is passionate about leveraging the fourth industrial revolution to solve some of the world's most challenging issues. He has two years of experience using artificial intelligence to improve sensing capabilities for autonomous vehicles and has patented autonomous sensing technologies. In his junior year of college, Pelkins started a tech-enabled agribusiness in his native Cameroon that is empowering over 500 farmers. He is currently pursuing his interest in tech entrepreneurship through the dual MS/MBA program at Harvard Business School and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Africa Learning Circle
CassVita Inc. is a tech-enabled agribusiness operating in Cameroon and the US that specializes in transforming cassava into high quality flours with the ultimate goal of industrializing Africa and empowering farming communities.
The Africa Learning Circle (ALC) is the innovation and entrepreneurship arm of MIT's African Students' Association devoted to principled entrepreneurship with a rigorous study of the African continent. The ALC boasts of three companies/organizations operating in Cameroon, Nigeria, the US, and Ghana.
Engineering Program Manager
NUBIA: NeUral Based Interchangeability Assessor
Machine Learning Side-Project
Created a novel, state-of-the-art metric for evaluating similarity for text generation
Self-Driving Car Engineer
Patented a novel methodology for calibrating radars for self-driving cars which remarkably reduced calibration time from 8 hours to under 10 minutes
Relationship Between Wind Velocity and Orientation, and Faults in Electrical Network
Machine Learning Researcher
Made recommendations for prediction of instances of faults in the French electrical network using wind velocity and orientation data
3D Printing Assisted Fabrication of Soft Robotic Hand with Embedded Soft Electronic Circuits
Undergraduate Researcher and Inventor
Invented a novel approach for embedding printed, elastic circuits in soft robotic devices that won first prize in Soft Robotics competition organized by Harvard
Effect of Inclination and Distance of Stop Sign on Accuracy of Learning and Non-learning Algorithms
Investigated the effectiveness of different vision processing algorithms on the ability of a self-driving car to recognize stop signs
Feature on Harvard MS/MBA front page
News feature on front page of MIT website
Post feature by the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde
MIT student reflects on her internship experience at CassVita
Interview (in French) by Cameroon Business Today
Blog feature about CassVita on MIT Admissions website
Contribution towards revamping MIT ASA into award winning student organization
CassVita invited for partnership with word's leading exporter of phosphate fertilizers
Harvard Innovation Labs Social Impact Fellowship Fund | Harvard University
$90K scholarship to support graduate education
Selected among 30 Fellows from a pool of over 2,200 applicants
Albert G. Hill Prize | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Suzanne Berger Award for Future Global Leaders | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
International Soft Robotics Design Competition First Prize | Harvard University John A. Paulson School
Guistwhite Scholar | Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
National Best Student | Cameroon General Certificate of Education Advanced Level
PATENTS & CERTIFICATIONS
Radar Calibration Systems and Methods. P043767-US-NP (003.1622). Filed: 09/05/17. Published: 03/07/19.
Design for Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS & PRESENTATIONS
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Johns Hopkins University Post-grad Panel. Online event. (November 9, 2020).
PD Soros webinar for MBA applicants, Online event (July 29, 2020).
Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, Vancouver, BC (December 13 - 14, 2019) - presented side-project paper at Learning Meaningful Representations of Life workshop
Harvard Africa Business and Investment Forum, Cambridge, MA (November 9, 2019)
MIT SciTech Conference (IdeaThon Mentor), Cambridge, MA (April 19 - 21, 2019) - organized by MIT Arab Students' Organization
MIT Africa Innovate Conference, Cambridge, MA (April 14, 2019) - organized by MIT Sloan School of Management
Deep Learning IndabaX (Keynote Speaker), Yaounde, Cameroon (April 2 - 4, 2019)
Emerging Scholars Banquet (Keynote Speaker), Arlington, TX (December 1, 2015)