Chiara Maria Lombardi
Payload Integration Manager, Vitrociset Belgium, ESA/ESTEC
Arm yourself with passion, determination, strength, will to be part of the change.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
As a payload Integration manager for several experiments flying on the international space station, I am following the experiment development, operations, launch, execution and sample return. I am coordinating all major stakeholder to achieve the experiment readiness. I am specialised in external payloads, robotics, technology demonstration, telecommunications, commercial platforms.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
When I was 18, there was the telecommunications technology boom and this fascinated me so much, that I decided to study telecommunication engineering at the Politecnico of Turin. It was a challenge to access, the entry test was taught and for five years we were only 2 women in the whole course. But this gave me even more motivation to continue and to fight stereotypes. My mom has always been an example of hard working mom and always presents for her kids.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
Working at the European Space Agency is one of my biggest achievements and being part of the success of major experiment and payload on board the International Space Station. The parabolic flight campaign I was part of was also like a dream!
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love being part of the change, to strive for it, to look for new technologies, new science, and promote their development. This will help us to improve earth futures but also to rach destinations as Moon or Mars. I am also very proud to be the example for many young children, as first mine. STEM is very important not only for girls, but also for boys, to make them realising in an early age, that women and man are equal.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Arm yourself with passion, determination, strength, will to be part of the change and embrace it, to fight for your rights and then you will be ready. STEM is for woman!
INSPO / FUN FACT
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”