Meet Madeleine Miller ’19: Union’s first Brooke Owens Fellow

Publication Date

Madeleine Miller ’19 is one of 36 students nationwide chosen for the inaugural Brooke Owens Fellowship, honoring female undergraduate students who will be seeking careers in aviation or space exploration.

The Brooke Owens Fellowship Program offers paid 10- to 12-week summer internships at leading aviation and space companies. It honors the legacy of space industry pioneer and accomplished pilot Dawn Brooke Owens. In addition to an internship, fellows are connected with two experienced aerospace industry mentors and attend a conference in Washington, D.C. to discuss promoting aerospace fields to women.

This summer, Miller will work for Planet, designing and building satellites that are used to image the entire Earth. The company, founded by ex-NASA engineers, is based in San Francisco, Calif.

Learn more about her fellowship:

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Minor: Astrophysics

Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.

Activities: President of SAE Aero Club, Vice President of the Rocket Club and member of Gamma Phi Beta

Why did you decide to apply?

I applied after I did planet formation research last summer with Heather Watson (assistant professor of physics and astronomy) with the help of Becky Koopmann (professor and chair of Physics and Astronomy). Working with them inspired me since they are both such intelligent female scientists who have encouraged me to pursue my dreams, which is to go to Mars.

This fellowship stood out to me because it was directed towards people just like me: motivated women who want to go to space. The mentorship aspect of the fellowship was a draw too. Whenever I talk to women in the aerospace field, they tell me how important mentors were to them as it is still hard to be a female working in this industry.

What do you want to do after Union?

After Union, I would like to work in space exploration figuring out how we can get to Mars and colonize. I would love to design and build rockets and help push the boundaries of the space industry. Alternately, I would be interested in building and implementing piezoelectric highways or work on creating hyper loops on Earth.