Sam Sims is a project engineer in the Space Innovation Directorate at The Aerospace Corporation. She joined the corporation in 1997, providing technical support to the Department of Defense (DOD) Space Test Program (STP). In this capacity, she architects cutting edge Science and Technology (S&T) missions to be flown by STP. Additionally, Sims works to promote the program by briefing lessons learned and mission success stories to DOD decisionmakers. She also serves as the corporate knowledge steward for the program and, in that capacity, is often called upon to provide quick responses for taskings from the Aerospace’s government customer. Sims is a pioneer in the world of multimanifest missions, working for the past two decades to bring together satellite programs from across the small satellite community to ensure government launch services are used in the most cost-effective manner. More recently, she has been exploring space policy and government regulations to try to better understand and document processes that are often not well known by the small satellite community. She is also working to help shape policies being rewritten with the needs of the small satellite community in mind.
Sims is also a champion of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach, organizing multiple events in her local areas as well as consulting with Aerospace’s STEM program.
Sims earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a master’s degree in materials science and engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Awards and Honors
Sims was recognized with The Aerospace Corporation’s Woman of the Year award, an award given annually by the corporation’s women’s committee. Additionally, she was awarded the corporation’s Excellence in Diversity Award.
Sims has served as the co-chair of a panel and a session at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)/American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace conference since 2010. She is a senior member of the AIAA.