Taylor Kerl, a systems engineer at Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California and a 2016 Nebraska mechanical engineering graduate, was chosen to receive the 2020 Promise Award by Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI).
The honor is given annually to the top three selections from among those chosen for SSPI's annual "20 Under 35", a list of the top international aerospace professionals ages 35 and younger.
Kerl and the rest of the honorees were recognized at the 15th annual Future Leaders Celebration – held virtually via Zoom – in conjunction with the Satellite Innovation 2020 Virtual Conference, produced by SatNews publishers.
"This was a great pick-me-up, especially in this time we're living in now," Kerl said. "If you look at my relatively young career, you can't help but see how all the experience I had at Nebraska is driving me where I'm going."
In the College of Engineering, Kerl was involved with the Aerospace Club and helped develop four payloads that were sent up on NASA rockets. She also performed undergraduate research projects, including a $200,000 NASA-funded project, and helped to develop a university course that teaches students skills necessary for managing NASA projects.
Kerl, who is 27, joined Maxar in 2017 after graduating and has become the propulsion mission operations lead for both bi-propellant and electric propulsion subsystems and has supported orbit raising for 12 geostationary spacecraft.
A native of Beatrice, Nebraska, Kerl is the lead electric propulsion systems engineer for the NASA Psyche spacecraft that will embark on a deep-space mission to a metallic asteroid and has been chosen as lead systems engineer for guidance, navigation and controls on a new, developmental modular bus scheduled to fly for the first time in 2021.
- Taylor Kerl talks about her career and Nebraska experiences
- SSPI "Making Leaders" podcast features Taylor Kerl
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