• Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2018
  • Purdue University, Mechatronics Engineering, '19
  • Host Institution: Scaled Composites
  • Mentor: Lauren Kickham

Courtney Simpson is a Mechatronics Engineering major at Purdue University. Courtney chose Purdue and engineering because her childhood hero Virgil “Gus” Grissom was an average kid like her that decided to be an engineer at Purdue. Her passion for space began when she was a little girl and would make her dad find constellations with her in the night sky. As a sophomore in college, Courtney had the chance to fly in the cockpit of a plane and discovered that her heart grows fuller with greater altitude, and before she had landed she was determined to pursue her private pilot’s license.

As a student, Courtney has gotten to work on using technology to change lives. She helped lead a team of students in creating a “farm bot”, a robotic farming implementation that plants and water seeds in a raised garden bed. Courtney felt strongly for this project as it was partnered with a charter school in a food desert region. This project not just teaches agriculture, but it shows children the beauty of STEM. 

Courtney has also been active in service-oriented alternative spring break program, and has been published in the Purdue Journal of Service Learning. She works as a ACE-certified personal trainer and as a HVAC Technician, and she has completed an internship at an aerospace technology start-up. She has also earned several awards for her art, including Madison County’s Art Show “Best in Show.”

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Courtney will work at Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA.