• Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2017

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Aerospace Engineering, ‘19

  • Host Institution: Stratolaunch Systems

  • Mentor: Laurie Leshin

Christine Chappelle studied Aerospace Engineering at MIT. She traces her passion for aerospace to her father's influence--and particular to a childhood experience where the engine died during the final approach on a small aircraft being flown by her father. After her father piloted the aircraft to a power-off emergency landing in a field and her family safely walked away from the incident--even though the aircraft flipped over its front wheel tore through an irrigation pipe in the field--Christine was hooked.

Christine had multiple internships during her time at MIT like Amazon Prime Air, Rolls Royce, and Aurora Flight Sciences. She was a mentor for FIRST robotics team 125, and an active member of MIT's Women in Aerospace (WIA) chapter, the MIT chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the MIT Flying Club member.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Christine worked at Stratolaunch, developing analytical and modeling software tools to help in various aspects of the engineering process. She collapsed the time it took to generate an estimate of the payload a rocket on the Stratolaunch platform could take to any given orbit and designed the network framework to install a camera system on the aircraft. She also coded a 6 DOF simulator of the aircraft to test potential launch orientations. Christine’s experiences pushed her to want to design the next generation of aircraft to make them even safer, and more agile and efficient.

Christine has started a full-time position at Aurora Flight Sciences in Cambridge, MA working as a Systems Engineer on autonomous aircraft and the future of urban air mobility.