Kelsey Doerksen, Space Systems Engineer in Satellite Operations, Planet Labs Inc. Kelsey joined Planet in February 2020 after completing a series of internships at the Paris Observatory and NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. In her current role at Planet, she is responsible for identifying, triaging, root causing and resolving satellite anomalies and performing fleet-wide health check-ins for the largest Earth Observation satellite constellation in the world. Kelsey also has extensive experience in using Python to develop tools for autonomous satellite operations and in creating and aggregating performance metrics to provide insight into constellation health and productivity. While working at Planet, Kelsey also serves as a Paris Observatory Researcher and Summer School Lecturer, a position she has held since 2018. She is enrolled to begin her Ph.D. in Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems at the University of Oxford in October 2021.
Sydney Hamilton, Structures Stress Engineering Manager, The Boeing Company. Sydney began her career at Boeing in 2014 as a Structural Design Engineer, a role in which she supported projects like the 777 Automated Floor Drilling Equipment Elimination & Floor Redesign project and the 777X Folding Wing-Tip Mock-Up. She also worked in the Commercial Aircraft Operations Center as a Service Engineer before moving on to become a Mechanical Systems Engineer designing, analyzing and managing projects for additively manufactured parts for space and launch systems. Sydney next took on the position of Responsible Engineering Authority (REA) for satellite reflectors, in which she led a cross-functional team to develop reflectors for multiple commercial and government programs, demonstrating rapid problem-solving skills and the ability to consistently meet aggressive deadlines and cost targets. In her current role of Structures Stress Engineering Manager, she leads a high-performing team of 18 engineers that perform critical technical analyses for all 3 major Boeing Divisions: Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) and Boeing Global Services (BGS).
Raven Moreland, Spacecraft Power Systems Engineer, Ball Aerospace. Raven joined Ball Aerospace in early 2020 as a Systems Engineer and currently serves as lead for the Electrical Power Distribution Subsystem (EPDS) on NASA’s SPHEREx program, which will conduct the first near-infrared all-sky spectral survey to study the cosmic origins of the universe and galaxies. Her contributions to the EPDS on the SPHEREx program have already proven invaluable in her 14 months spent on the project. In her first 6 months on the project, She was responsible for researching and procuring the solar array technology that will power the SPHEREx spacecraft and quickly realized that the original design exceeded the system’s mass allocation. Raven discovered a novel technology that is more efficient, smaller, lighter and more powerful for less cost than the established baseline, thereby getting the project back on track seamlessly and with added benefits. She consistently provides valuable feedback for deliverables, researches options for spacecraft components and contributes design ideas.
2021 Mentor of the Year
Donna Potter, Senior Executive Director of Research and Development, Maxar (retired). Until her retirement in 2019, Donna Potter served as Senior Executive Director of Research and Development at Maxar, after she originally took on the position at Space Systems/Loral (SSL) in 2011. She managed the research and development portfolio for SSL and later Maxar, furthering the technologies the company needed to remain competitive in the GEO communication satellite market. Donna’s responsibilities included crafting strategy for new technology development and driving progress and productivity on a wide array of technical projects. Along the way, she also helped employees develop critical project management and technical leadership skills, which resulted in multiple researchers publishing technical papers and earning patents under her leadership. Donna has served as a role model for many women seeking to improve their leadership skills and rise through the ranks and went the extra mile with several mentees to help them adopt strategies to be taken more seriously in positions of authority.