Meet Our People: Leah R.

This engineer’s pursuit of the most interesting and fulfilling path led her to Aerospace!
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In honor of Engineers Week, Aerospace is spotlighting a few of our many great engineers and getting a peek at the exciting projects that they’re focused on. Keep checking back to Meet Our People all this week! 

Leah R

Name: Leah

Alma Mater: B.S. in Physics, Davidson College; M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Department: Modeling and Simulation Department

Can you tell us about the work you do here at The Aerospace Corporation?

I model, simulate, and analyze enterprise-level systems and constellations to determine how they will perform over their lifetime and within the existing systems. In general, my job requires me to be acquainted with many elements and systems across the space domain, and how to model them. I love that I’m always learning about something new. My particular areas of interest are numerical optimization and data visualization.

Who or what inspires you? Why?

I’m consistently inspired by the pioneering women in STEM – Marie Curie, Grace Hopper, Sally Ride, Mae Jemison, Margaret Hamilton, Katherine Johnson, Rosalind Franklin, and Rachel Carson, just to name a few. These brilliant women not only made important contributions to their fields, but they also paved the way for other women, like me, to follow in their footsteps.

When was the moment you realized that you wanted to make this your career?

I’m not sure that there was any single “aha!” moment for me in terms of my career. Instead, I’ve tried to follow the path that I have found to be the most interesting and fulfilling for me, and I’m thrilled that it has led me here.

What work is Aerospace doing that excites you the most outside of your own department?

I think the work that Aerospace is doing on the 3-D printed rocket motor is really exciting and novel. It's a great example of how Aerospace is consistently pushing the envelope through innovation. Plus, it’s so cool that their initial tests exceeded even their own expectations!

Why did you choose to work at Aerospace?

First and foremost, I love that Aerospace chooses to tackle the hard problems. I like having something challenging to work on, and knowing that the outcome can make a real impact. This dedication to solving the hard problems as well as Aerospace’s culture, internal research opportunities, and position within the space domain made Aerospace a great choice for me.

What advice would you give to an engineer joining The Aerospace Corporation?

Get to know your colleagues — they’re interesting people! Employee Resource Groups and Aerospace Employee Association clubs are great ways to meet people from across the corporation. Also, do your best to attend events in person. It’s easy to just call into a presentation, but attending in person gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs and meet new people.

If you're interested in joining the Aerospace team, be sure to visit our careers page.