Natalie Pfister.jpg

Natalie Pfister

  • Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2019

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aerospace Engineering, '20

  • Host Institution: Generation Orbit

  • Mentors: Danielle Wood and Laura Seward Forczyk

Natalie Pfister is a junior in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has always loved learning and is known for having a new fun science, culture, or history fact to share every time you meet her. In her free time, Natalie enjoys learning new languages, watching international TV shows and movies, keeping up with the latest NASA news, and going hiking.

When on campus, Natalie is an active member of the Illinois Space Society (ISS), a chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). Through ISS she has had the opportunity to design an EVA tool concept for NASA Micro-g NExT and to present this tool to astronauts Jeanette Epps and Shane Kimbrough. She is currently working in Dr. Brian Woodard’s research group where she researches swept-wing aircraft icing. This project aims to fill the large gap in our understanding of how ice accretion affects modern swept-wing aircraft and to improve current icing simulation software.

Natalie loves mentoring younger students and teaches a section of Engineering 100, the freshman orientation course at her university. This year she had a class of 23 students and taught a curriculum that included lessons on professional skills, university resources, mental health and wellness, and academic skills. This fall she is taking over as the lead instructor of Engineering 100 for her department. For Natalie one of the best parts of this position is being able to meet the freshman women in aerospace and help them find a support network like the one that has gotten her through her first three years in the department.

Natalie hopes to continue learning everything she can about aerospace engineering and looks forward to doing just that with Generation Orbit in the summer of 2019.