• Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2018
  • Iowa State University, Materials Engineering and Religious Studies, '20
  • Host Institution: Mojave Air and Space Port
  • Mentor: George Whitesides

Madison Harrington is a Materials Engineering and Religious Studies Major at Iowa State University. She was exposed to aviation through her dad who flew F-16s and now the Boeing 777 for FedEx. Both of her parents supported and encouraged her to get her private pilot's license in high school. Space was a passion that came naturally from growing up in an aerospace oriented family.

At Iowa State, Madison began her freshman year in the Navy ROTC program and served as a Squad Leader and a Platoon Sergeant. She was exposed to various aspects of the Navy’s ships, submarines, aviation squadrons, and the Marine Corps while in San Diego on CORTRAMID. Wanting to also be more involved in aerospace industry, Madison decided to discontinue the ROTC program with the intent to join the military part time after graduation as a pilot. 

Madison is currently working with a team of undergraduates at Iowa State developing an Open Source fixed wing UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) for public and university use. Her team specifically plans to use the UAS as a research bed to test software for Robonaut 2. Additionally, Madison is a tutor for the Academic Success center and heavily involved in the Women in Science and Engineering program. She is a recipient of the Iowa State University Scholarship for Competitive Excellence and the Joan Dee Rottler Scholarship.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Madison was hosted at Mojave Air and Space Port (MASP) to learn more about the NewSpace industry and participate in the history of “firsts” out in the Mojave desert. While at MASP, Madison toured customer facilities, took part in the National Test Pilot School’s flight camp, attended the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace conference in Seattle, witnessed flight test and launch, and was involved in helping promote MASP through various marketing and operational projects throughout the summer. 

The Brooke Owens Fellowship gave Madison an new objective to give back to the community, especially in youth interested in STEM and space. Apart from becoming involved in outreach, Madison is going to continue to pursue flying and engineering to become a space explorer.