On Friday December 4, Viewpoint’s Girls in STEM and STEM Club had the pleasure of hosting speaker Michele Veneri, a senior aerospace engineer at NASA. Her talk entitled “My Journey to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center” dove into the science behind NASA’s greatest creations as well as experiences from her background.
Ms. Veneri works as the Chief of Commercial Ground Systems Branch at the John F. Kennedy Space Center located in Florida. She has contributed to the mechanical systems of many US launch vehicles, such as Delta ll, Delta lV, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Pegasus, Taurus, and many more. With over 200 members of the Viewpoint community in attendance, her inspiration was seen throughout the presentation in the eyes of all the aspiring engineers, scientists, and space explorers. She shared information about her career path as well as facts, insights, and captivating videos about space exploration and the Mars 2020 mission. One comment she said stood out: “All different types of STEM backgrounds are needed and could be used. Whether you are interested in computer science, math, biology, engineering, health science, informational technology, or even medicine, there is a place for you within the NASA community using STEM.”
Ms. Veneri not only worked in the Commercial Grounds System Branch on fluid and mechanical ground systems, but she also previously worked for 18 years in the commercial space industry as a design engineer. STEM Club board member Jackson G. ’21 shared the following thoughts:
“I found that the insight provided by Ms. Veneri on the intersection of industry and government painted an interesting visual of the future of space exploration. Having worked with various companies and organizations over her career, such as Lockheed Martin and NASA, she gave a unique perspective on the evolution of the two together, relaying her belief that one sector will not overtake the other. With companies more focused on advancing technology and governments focused on overall purpose, I am excited to view how this partnership develops—using her perspective as a new means of analysis. Additionally, I was amazed that some of these advanced projects, such as Mars 2020, take multiple years and various teams to develop, yet the engineers cannot guarantee success due to space's unique environments. I found this incredible as it shows the amount of faith, determination, and perseverance required for space exploration.”
With all of her experience, Ms. Veneri was able to touch on the amazing things she has done, and is still doing, to help grow the space industry and to reach for the stars. She decided on becoming a space engineer and did it. This gave the best example of how hard work can transfigure your dream into reality, striving to get better at every moment, exceeding your potential.
Girls in STEM and STEM Club would like to thank Michele Veneri for her amazing presentation and Fiona Wong P’27 ’29 for all of her efforts to make this event happen.