• Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2018

  • Stanford University, Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. '24 

  • Columbia University, Electrical Engineering, '18

  • Host Institution: Generation Orbit

  • Mentor: Chris Stott

Julia Di is interested in the relationship between art, technology, and robotics. As a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow at Stanford University, she is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering researching how to improve robotic manipulation. She is also a 2019 DFJ Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellow, 2017 AIAA 20 Twenties Laureate, and 2016 NASA Robotics Academy alumna.

Julia graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science from Columbia University in 2018. She first became interested in space after reading a picture book in second grade about the history of human spaceflight. For most of her life she loved art and design and later came to understand engineering as another art form. Then much later, she realized that she could have an engineering career in the aerospace industry.

She co-founded the Columbia Space Initiative (CSI) in September 2015. Now one of Columbia's most popular engineering organizations, CSI has won multiple NASA design challenges, held talks around the tri-state area, and taught K-12 students about aerospace engineering. She was also President of Women in Computer Science (WiCS) and a Super User in the Columbia MakerSpace. She previously interned at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center, and Carleton Laboratory. As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Julia worked at Generation Orbit as an Avionics Intern.

You can find her on Instagram and Twitter for content on robotics, women in STEAM, and entrepreneurial tech. She posts art on Instagram as @j.disign.