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KAREN RUCKER

  • Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2017
  • Texas Tech University, Electrical Engineering, ‘19
  • Host Institution: HawkEye 360
  • Mentor: Erika Wagner

Karen Rucker is a student in Texas Tech University studying Electrical Engineering. She is a nontraditional student who returned to school after finding herself unchallenged in her job as a secretary at the age of 26.

As a student, Karen worked full-time answering 911 as a police dispatcher at night while going to school full-time during the day for her Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduating from Mclennan Community College, she enrolled at Texas Tech University. There, she has been an a leader with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Amateur Radio Society, and the NASA Community Aerospace Scholars program. She has completed internships at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Lockheed Martin.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Karen worked at HawkEye 360 as an Electrical Engineering intern. She assisted in software defined radio (SDR) payload test and integration, supported processing and generation of RF data within GNU Radio and developed Python scripts for digital signal processing (DSP), most notably a cell-averaging Constant False Alarm Rate (CFAR) algorithm for radar. 

Currently, Karen is working on controls and power systems for the SLS launchpad as an intern at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.