Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2019
University of Colorado Boulder, '21
Host Institution: SpaceX
Mentor: Nick Skytland
Michelle Lin is a sophomore studying Aerospace Engineering, Applied Mathematics, and Engineering Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. Since moving from Taiwan as a first-generation immigrant at the age of 9, she has traveled to 15 countries and considers herself very privileged for having had the opportunities to do so. She has wanted to be an astronaut since she was 6, and still holds the dream of achieving human spaceflight close to her heart.
At CU, Michelle has been involved with the High Altitude Student Platform project at Colorado Space Grant Consortium, the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling, and the Engineering Honors Program. As a Greenhouse Scholar — a scholarship based on leadership, accountability, community, and relentlessness — she is dedicated to bringing her experiences and resources to underprivileged students in her community, and she is especially vocal about empowering women and underrepresented students in engineering. In 2018, she interned at the Colorado Capitol as a fellow of the inaugural class of the Colorado Science and Engineering Policy Fellowship, drafting renewable energy policy for the state legislature. Shortly after, she co-founded Colorado Undergraduates in Science and Policy to advocate for scientific policy-making and policy-informed science in the community.
As a fierce advocate for female empowerment in engineering, Michelle founded the CU Chapter of the Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which builds a supportive community through career development. She was recently awarded the 2019 Women in Aerospace Scholarship for promising young women who will be the leaders of the next generation. This coming October, she will be competing in the Miss Colorado USA pageant on the platform of educational equity for women in STEM.
Michelle is currently working under Dr. Allison Anderson in the Bioastronautics Laboratory at CU. Last year, she collaborated with Johnson Space Center to research the viability of hybrid reality technologies in deep-space habitat design. At the 2019 NASA Human Research Program Investigator’s Workshop, she presented her work on the “Development of Alternative Reality Environments for Spacecraft Habitat Design Evaluation”. This semester, she is starting her own research project to investigate architectural design principles and their effects on spatial awareness and perception in a spacecraft habitat. She is grateful to have the opportunity to combine her love for design, aesthetics, and human factors — she aims to have a hand in designing the first colony on Mars.
Outside of her professional pursuits, she likes to be in the ocean, taking photos, brunching, or adventuring in a new city. She also trains at The Corning Boxing — a local, women-owned boxing gym.
As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Michelle worked at SpaceX on the Crew Dragon Mechanisms team.