Katherine Melbourne

  • Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2019

  • Yale University, Astrophysics, '19

  • Host Institution: Ball Aerospace

  • Mentor: Paul Shawcross

Katie Melbourne is an Astrophysics major at Yale University graduating in December 2019. She grew up interested in science and math but fell in love with space after looking through a telescope for the first time at age 11. After attending a public lecture about exoplanets in 8th grade, she decided she wanted to be an astronomer. She spent her time in high school volunteering with her local astronomy club in Iowa and completed her first astronomy research project at Boston University in the summer of 2014.

At Yale, Katie self-designed a summer research exchange opportunity at the University of Chile and lived in Santiago for the summer of 2016 to study exoplanets. She has also worked on a neutrino physics collaboration at Yale before starting her current thesis work on M dwarf stars with exoplanets at NASA Goddard. Her interest in space policy and diplomacy began when she took a semester off to intern in the Office of International and Interagency Relations at NASA Headquarters. Since then, she has focused on taking classes in history, political science, and global affairs in addition to her STEM coursework and is a student in Yale’s Brady-Johnson Program for Grand Strategy.

Outside of class and research, Katie has served as the co-president of Yale Women in Physics, chapter president of her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, and co-host of a podcast called Get This Girl a Job that empowers women in search of their first jobs after college. Katie enjoys training for marathons, completing two so far with plans to do many more.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Katie will spend the summer of 2019 working at Ball Aerospace as a Strategic Operations intern in Arlington, VA.