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  • Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2017

  • Texas Tech University, Electrical Engineering, ‘19

  • Host Institution: HawkEye 360

  • Mentor: Erika Wagner

Karen Rucker is a senior at 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 (TTU). There, she has been a leader with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), involved with Women in Engineering and the Society of Women Engineers, and worked as a student researcher in the TTU Microwave Laboratory. She has completed internships at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

As a 2017 Brooke Owens Fellow, Karen worked at HawkEye 360. 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. 

Karen has accepted a full-time offer at Ball Aerospace as an RF/Microwave Design Engineer to begin after her graduation in May.