The Sky's the Limit

Madeleine Miller

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, Calif.
MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering
MINOR: Astrophysics

SAE Aero

In spring 2017, Madeleine Miller was one of 36 students nationwide chosen for the inaugural Brooke Owens Fellowship honoring female undergraduates seeking careers in aviation or space exploration.

The fellowship provided Madeleine with a paid internship at Planet, designing and building satellites that are used to image the Earth. The San Francisco-based company was founded by former NASA engineers. Madeleine’s work also connected her with experienced aerospace industry mentors.

“The mentorship was a big draw,” she says. “Whenever I talk to women in the field, they tell me it is still hard to be a female working in this industry.”

Madeleine decided to apply for the prestigious fellowship after conducting planet formation research at Union with Heather Watson, assistant professor of physics and astronomy. Another female mentor, Professor Rebecca Koopmann ‘89, chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department, guided her in the application process.

“After Union, I would love to design and build rockets and help push the boundaries of the space industry,” Madeleine says. “Working with these faculty members has greatly inspired me. They are both such intelligent scientists, and they have encouraged me to pursue my dreams.”

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