Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2019
University of Washington, Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, '21
Host Institution: SpaceX
Mentor: Chris Stott
Cat Hannahs is a sophomore at the University of Washington majoring in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering and minoring in Environmental Studies. Her love for aerospace engineering began when her dad took her to the STS-123 launch at Cape Canaveral for her ninth birthday. After that day, Cat went after every space and engineering opportunity, including attending Space Camp four times and going to academic summer camps on college campuses. In high school, she took evening classes in engineering and manufacturing, becoming the first girl to do so at her school district’s tech school. She was also an enthusiastic STEM Camp counselor and focused on inspiring younger girls to pursue engineering.
At the UW, Cat is active in multiple engineering endeavors. Since her freshman year, Cat has been active in the Society for Advanced Rocket Propulsion, a rocketry team that designs and constructs a hybrid motor sounding rocket for competition every year. She leads the oxidizer tank project and is responsible for overseeing design, analysis, manufacturing, and testing of the pressure vessel. In addition, Cat has been a researcher in the Autonomous Insect Robotics (AIR) Lab in the Mechanical Engineering Department since June 2018. At the AIR Lab, Cat works on micromachined insect-inspired hopping robots which are designed with the intent of being extraterrestrial rovers.
Cat is extremely passionate about encouraging younger students to love STEM. As a member of the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, she has volunteered in Washington and Idaho to expose students to opportunities in STEM. She is also a presenter at the UW Planetarium where she gives shows to the public and grade school groups.
Outside of all of these activities, Cat plays cello in the UW Philharmonia Orchestra and enjoys hiking, nature sketching, yoga, and tabletop and video games.
As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Cat will be working at SpaceX as a Vehicle Engineering Intern.