College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

AerE student Michaela Spaulding selected as a Brooke Owens Fellow

Michaela Spaulding, a junior in aerospace engineering, was selected as a Brooke Owens Fellow for 2017.

The Brooke Owens Fellowship Program is an organization that offers internships at leading aviation and space companies for women seeking careers in aviation or space exploration. Spaulding was one of 36 recipients of the fellowship, and will intern at Generation Orbit this summer.

“I’ve always been passionate about promoting STEM majors, especially women.” Spaulding said. “I saw this as an opportunity to promote that.”

Michaela Spaulding, a junior from Fort Dodge, IA, will intern at Generation Orbit this summer.

After a lengthy interview and selection process, Spaulding was paired with Generation Orbit, an aerospace company based out of Atlanta that is developing a series of high speed flight and space launch systems.

“It’s still up in the air about what I will be doing,” Spaulding said. “When I interviewed with the CEO of GO, I told him my interests and he explained that I would probably be placed in the propulsions side of their engineering.”

In addition to the internship, Spaulding will also be paired with two mentors, one from GO, and another within the aerospace industry. The pool of mentors includes the two most recent Deputy Administrators of NASA, the President of SpaceX, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, as well as a five-time space shuttle astronaut.

The Brooke Owens Fellowship Program was found in 2016 in honor of D. Brooke Owens, a pilot and space industry pioneer who passed away in June 2016 at the age of 35. According to a statement from the foundation, “The program was created to create a cohort of young women interested in aviation and space who have the knowledge and relationships to enter the workforce and advance a positive future in her spirit.”

Spaulding is looking forward to her internship and plans on living with a fellow GO intern this summer in Atlanta. “The positives that come with having women in engineering is that it forces people to think of things in a new way,” Spaulding said. “You’re bringing in those fresh ideas from different people who may not have had the same background.”