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  • Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2017

  • University of Illinois at Chicago , Mechanical Engineering ‘19

  • Host Institution: Virgin Orbit

  • Mentor: Diana Trujillo

Ninoshka Llontop is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Originally from Lima, Peru, she was born into an indigenous family and raised in the traditions of "Intiwatani " (Quechua word for "Observatory"). Inspired by Quechuan oral history and by seeing an eclipse as a seven-year-old, Ninoshka dreamed of discovery and exploration. At the age of sixteen, she immigrated to the US.

As a student, Ninoshka has been active with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Experimental Rocket Motor team, and served as the Vice President of the Native American Students Organization, in addition to working in the UIC High-Pressure Shock Laboratory Research Projects. She also completed an internship through the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. She is an alumna of Harper College.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Ninoshka worked at Virgin Orbit. As part of the Structures team, she led the development of several structural dynamics testing mechanisms.