• Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2018
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison, Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics, 18’
  • Host Institution: Made in Space
  • Mentor: Pam Melroy

Maddie Kothe is an Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her excitement for aerospace stems from the endless possibilities of learning and growing that space has to offer. Her desire to go to space and see Earth from a new perspective in order to improve the lives on Earth drives her to explore the aerospace industry.

Throughout her time as an undergraduate, Maddie has been a member of the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC), the Society of Women Engineers, and the UW-Madison Chapter of AIAA where she got hands-on engineering experience through design projects as well as participating in events to spread her excitement for space. She has also worked as a teaching assistant for an advanced mechanics of materials class.

Maddie worked at Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) in Madison, WI as a co-op and a part-time intern for over 3 years. At SNC, she had the chance to work on all stages of the design process. Her favorite experience was working on visual ranging cue lights that are currently installed on the Cygnus Resupply Vehicle to the ISS. Seeing pictures of something she worked so closely with in space instilled a feeling of accomplishment and connection to space that is irreplaceable.

Outside of engineering and academics, Maddie is excited to be working towards her Private Pilot License and getting the chance to fly weekly and connect her aerodynamics coursework with the hands-on experience of flight. She also has a huge passion for waterskiing and has been a member and leader on the Mad-City Waterski Team for 10 years.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Maddie worked at Made In Space as a payload development engineer. Her main project focused on the assembly of a recycler payload for the ISS that turns plastic bags into 3D printing filament. Her favorite part of the Fellowship was getting to create a network of amazing leaders in aerospace as well as creating a family of the other amazing Brooke Owens Fellows.

Maddie is now a Launch Operations Engineer at SpaceX, where she will work with the Dragon 2 capsule. This opportunity to get to make history working on a project that will bring American astronauts to space from American soil on an American rocket for the first time since the Shuttle Program is something she is so excited and humbled to work on.