What do you do?
I am the head of a research group, named SacLaB. It stands for Space Advanced Concepts Laboratory. I am mainly conducting researches about astrodynamics (optimization of interplanetary trajectories) and space system design in the context of human spaceflights to the Moon, Mars, and even further (like Asteroids). I am also teaching space mechanics, space systems design.
Why did you choose this field?
I have mostly always wanted to work for the space domain and conduct researches. I realized it when I was a very young girl (7 years old), reading Marie Curie's life and looking at the stars in the summer skies. So I got very motivated and worked hard to study Maths, Physics, and Aerospace engineering from Bachelor to the Ph.D. Before being a professor, I was an engineer in the space industry. I had the opportunity to work on a lot of different space missions. I took part in the operations of the first ATV (European cargo to the ISS)
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
There are two professional achievements that I am very proud: first, being part of the team that was piloting remotely from the ground the first ATV and twice, being the head of a research team focusing on future human space missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love having to face scientific problems and trying to solve them. I like to try to model them with mathematical tools and thus understand the physical phenomena. But most of all, I like to keep learning and satisfy my curiosity.
Best advice for next generation?
Do not hesitate ... believe in yourself ... listen to your intuition and follow your dreams
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”