• Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2018
  • Columbia University, Physics, '19
  • Host Institution: Ball Aerospace
  • Mentor: Charlie Bolden

Amani is a 3rd year physics major at Columbia University. Her passion for physics was born out of her family's love of the stars. Inspired by her grandfather's stories and Kerry James Marshall's art, Amani was determined to find her own medium to interact with the stars. Determined to be an astronaut, she began studying physics at Columbia University in 2015. 

In her first year she did research at NuSTAR, analyzing stellar clusters. She then began detector fabrication and simulation modeling for the GAPS experiment, an indirect dark matter detector. She has also worked at the LIGO lab at CalTech researching the optical properties of Silicon for use in future gravitational wave detectors. Outside of the lab Amani is obsessed with being able to communicate her passion for space with the world around her. She has written projects on black holes and black femininity, and serves as the president of RoboGals at Columbia where she teaches engineering to young girls. Amani believes that any scientist or engineer should be well connected and constantly in dialogue with the community around them.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, she will be working at Ball Aerospace with their detector engineering group. In addition she will take part in the BIRST program. There she will learn more of the physics behind telescope engineering, as well as the process of launching a payload. She hopes to use her knowledge post-graduation to find creative ways to make space travel a future for everyone.