Natalie is a rocket scientist, explorer, and advocate for women in technology. As a Mission Systems Engineer at MDA Space Missions, Natalie works on the next generation of Canadian space robotics, and other Canadian space exploration programs. Her roles include Project Engineering and Systems and Operations Engineering for robotic hardware development and space studies such as lunar missions. Panek’s love of space and aviation led her to obtain a private pilot’s license to fly a single-engine aircraft, as well as build and drive a solar-powered car across North America.

She has participated in internships at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center and at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where she worked on a mission to Mars. With degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Natalie has co-authored papers on Microgravity Combustion and On-orbit Satellite Servicing and is a technology contributor for The Next Women Business Magazine. She is the 2013 recipient of the University of Calgary Graduate of the Last Decade Award, the Northern Lights Award Foundation Rising Star in aerospace, and was named one of CBC's 12 young leaders changing Canada. She is one of 23 visionary women representing Canada in September at A Bold Vision national conference.

Natalie has spoken at multiple events including TED and gave closing remarks for Chris Hadfield at his first public appearance after returning from the International Space Station. She has also appeared on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet.

Follow Natalie on Twitter @nmpanek.

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