3G Woman in Technology – Dr. Wanda M. Austin

By | 2 November, 2012

Every week I will highlight and share an inspirational 3G WIT, that is a Woman in Technology whose life’s work is an embodiment of the 3G Lifestyle. So without further ado!

Drumroll Please! – 3G Woman In Technology – Dr Wanda M Austin – President and CEO of Aerospace Corporation

Dr Wanda M Austin

Dr Wanda M Austin – President and CEO The Aerospace Corporation

Large and in charge, Dr Wanda M Austin is an extraordinary woman and our Woman in Technology of the week. It takes a very special woman to go from being a math and problem solving lover to a member of the National Academy of Engineering AND the CEO and President of the leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs. When she was young, she was interested in math and problem solving because there was always a right answer, in evaluations there was no place for discrimination or bias. Yes, she was a girl. Yes, she was African American and Yes, she took her youthful passions and made it work, strutting her determination and dedication to her fields of study down the runway of success. This, my dear readers, takes guts.

Starting with something like a Bachelor of Art degree in Mathematics, working to earn Master of Science degrees (plural) in Systems Engineering and Mathematics, and finally a earning a Doctorate in Systems Engineering, Dr Austin is living proof that  the old saying ‘the more you know, the more you grow’ is very true. She set goals for herself in her career, and she’s been a general manager and even the senior vice president for several of the programs and divisions within the Aerospace Corp.

We are talking about a woman who is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation and as she’s worked with the Aerospace Corporation she’s encouraged studies in and supported programs like NASA’s Human Spaceflight, NOAA’s Weather satellite and even the Landsat system of satellites.

When Dr Austin was inducted into the Denice Dee Denton Women Engineers Hall of Fame in 2011, she remarked during her induction ceremony that,  “If the United States is to remain competitive on the world stage we must have well trained, innovative scientists and engineers. We need them regardless of whether they are male or female, but we certainly cannot afford to have 50 percent of the population opt out.”

It takes a special type of grace to know you’ve got it going on and to encourage other young men and women to get to going in their own scientific, engineering, and technical careers. Dr Wanda Austin has made it clear no matter your gender, age, or ethnic background, when it comes to succeeding in life and making awesome contributions to the scientific and tech community…the sky is never the limit.

To infinity and beyond, Dr Wanda Austin embodies what it means to live a 3G lifestyle and I only hope she inspires you as much as as she inspires /me/, giving me the guts, to set new goals and tackle new challenges with grace every day.

So that’s our 3G Woman in Technology for this week. I’m your 3G IT – DTLT, keeping it at 3Gs with style and grace.

Please comment and share…and if there is a certain Woman in Technology that inspires you and that you’d like featured on the blog, go ahead and leave a comment below and they will be put in the running! If you’d like to learn more about Dr Austin, visit:  http://www.nasa.gov/offices/hsf/members/austin-bio.html

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