What do you do?
As a systems engineer, I get to investigate aircraft from everything down to individual switches to communications systems.
Why did you choose this field?
I am determined to help develop humanity establish a permanent home in the solar system, whether that be the Moon, Mars, an asteroid, or somewhere in between. A mentor introduced me to the concept through Space Settlement Design Competitions back when I was 14. I grew up with two civil engineers in the family, and they convinced me to pursue engineering, but aerospace is all thanks to a small group of incredible people I got to know throughout high school. They made space real and approachable.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I was on a team that received a research grant from NASA Ames! We spent 6+ months doing research on lunar mining and I presented it at the International Space Development Conference.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love that there are challenges around every corner. I learn something new every single day. I also love that in school, I got to learn the theory behind how planes fly, then at work I get to learn the controls of how pilots fly the plane, and then I'm also working towards a private pilots license so I can learn what flying feels like.
Best advice for next generation?
Find a mentor who looks like you! (Race, gender, etc) Finding someone who understands your perspective makes facing challenges in the field so much easier. Also, so many people in STEM are always willing to give advice to and speak with younger people interested in the field!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“Per aspera ad astra (Through hardships to the stars).”