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KAYLEIGH DOBSON

  • Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2018

  • Santa Clara University, Mechanical Engineering, '19

  • Host Institution: Sierra Nevada Corporation

  • Mentor: Phil Larson

Kayleigh Dobson, a senior at Santa Clara University, has been drawn to space since she was a child. Her grandpa, who worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ignited her love of space and engineering. She loved calling him a "rocket scientist," and always hoped that one day she would be able to call herself a rocket scientist as well. 

Kayleigh's first opportunity to pursue that childhood goal was a satellite operations internship through the Robotic Systems Laboratory at Santa Clara University. She had the opportunity to work on-console during satellite passes, retrieving data from a NASA Ames cube-sat called EcAMSat. 

In addition to the satellite operations internship, Kayleigh is also involved on campus as a tour guide for SCU's School of Engineering, a member of both Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society and Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Society, and the secretary of The Freedom Project, an anti-human trafficking club. Outside of school, Kayleigh is also the President of Kappa Kappa Gamma, an avid hiker, and a horseback rider. 

For Kayleigh's Brooke Owens internship, she worked as a Systems Engineering Intern at Sierra Nevada Corporation in Louisville, Colorado. She worked on the Dream Chaser spacecraft, a reusable ISS cargo resupply vessel. Her projects primarily focused on creating functional architecture for the mission, tracing customer and other requirements to spacecraft specifications, and depicting the attitude of the spacecraft at any given point in the mission cycle.

Kayleigh is now finishing up her space-filled senior year at Santa Clara University. In addition to school, she also works part-time as an Engineering Associate at NASA Ames Research Center.