Skip to main content

Dayton Engineer

Sophomore Electrical Engineering Student Works with NASA through Ohio Space Grant Consortium

Sophomore electrical engineering student Grace McKenna started working with NASA in the Here to Observe (H2O) program in September 2023. The program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to observe and interact with NASA Planetary Science Division teams, with the goal of inspiring historically marginalized groups to be a part of the STEM workforce.

McKenna is currently working on the Europa Clipper mission that will launch later this year. 

“The mission is to send a spacecraft to Europa to fly by and take different captures, measurements, all kinds of data, to let us know a little bit more about Europa because it has an ice shell,” McKenna said. “We are looking to see what it’s composed of because the details of that are still unknown.”

This opportunity is made possible through the Ohio Space Grant Consortium which works to expand opportunities for Ohioans to understand and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space projects.

“I'm able to attend different meetings to learn more about the mission and work with them,” McKenna said. “I get to be in the mix of everything.”

McKenna will be working with postdoctoral scholar Natalie Wolfenbarger from the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University as her mentor for the program. 

“Natalie works with radar systems which I have always been interested in and hopefully get to work with in the future,” McKenna said. “I am hoping to continue to talk with her after this project to keep up with what she’s working on.”

The H2O program is completely virtual, so McKenna is able to participate alongside her UD classes and other extracurriculars. 

“It actually works really well with my schedule. I’m busy, but it’s great,” said McKenna. “I’m just super excited to be a part of something with NASA to learn how their projects and phases go.”

Previous Post

Electro-Optics and Photonics Professor Travels to China to Share Research

Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics professor Dr. Partha Banerjee visited Tsinghua University in Beijing, China to present an invited lecture on his recent research. Banerjee, who is Director of the Holography and Metamaterials Lab, specializes in digital and dynamic holography, metamaterials, photorefractives and acousto-optics.

Read More
Next Post

Lifting Others Up

Bobby ’78 and Catherine Jennings ’77 Stewart know the meaning of “work hard, play hard” as they enjoy retirement after collectively working nearly 80 years. Now they’ve established an endowed scholarship to give hard, too.

Read More