Katlyn Vicuna

Katlynn Vicuña

Brooke Owens Fellowship

Katlynn Vicuña is on the cusp of graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, concentrating on Aerospace, from The University of Hawaii at Manoa in May 2024.

Originating from just outside Boston, Massachusetts, Katlynn’s path to engineering was anything but linear. Post-high school, she ventured across the United States, eventually gravitating towards the West Coast. Amid various customer service positions, she discovered a yearning for a more meaningful vocation. This epiphany drove her to excel in automotive technologies at the Universal Technical Institute, leading to a specialization in the Mercedes-Benz program. A decade in the automotive realm reaffirmed her aspiration for a broader impact, steering her towards aerospace engineering.

In Honolulu, Hawaii, while employed at Mercedes-Benz, Katlynn embarked on her academic odyssey. She commenced at Kapi‘olani Community College, adeptly juggling her job and studies. Her role as a science and engineering assistant and her involvement in programs such as the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars at Ames Research Center and the NASA L’SPACE Academy underscored her commitment to aerospace. This trajectory continued with her participation in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Katlynn deepened her aerospace engagement, contributing to the development of an open-source aerospace textbook with a corresponding CubeSat kit, and engaging in the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) satellite team. Her involvement in various initiatives, including the Emer-gen 2021 Hackathon, The Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone (GLEE), and the ASCEND 2021 Diversity Scholars with AIAA, culminated in her recognition as a 2022 Brooke Owens Fellow. She is currently advancing her final undergraduate project with the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), focusing on the design and mass production of optics assemblies for the telescope’s refurbishment. This project will be showcased in Yokohama, Japan, at the SPIE conference this summer.

Katlynn’s dedication extends beyond academia to her active participation in professional associations such as The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Association of Old Crows (AOC), and The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), reflecting her commitment to professional growth and community involvement.

As Katlynn anticipates graduating in May 2024, she is gearing up for an exhilarating new chapter. She will be joining Johns Hopkins University part-time in the fall, concurrently starting a full-time position at Lockheed Martin Space, poised to leave a significant mark on the aerospace industry.

Related Sessions

Master Moderator: Katlynn Vicuña

Thursday, April 11, 2024

8:45 am - 12:00 pm