EP. 16 This astrophysicist started dreaming big when she “broke math” at age 8. Katie Melbourne is about to launch a $9B telescope. And she is just getting started.

Follow Us On


Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Katie Melbourne, systems engineer and astrophysicist, ultra-marathoner, and PhD to be.

Katie Melbourne is a Systems Engineer at Ball Aerospace working on the James Webb Space Telescope commissioning team. Developing an interest in science and space at a young age, Katie graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics in 2019. Her undergraduate thesis and main astronomy research focus was on M dwarf stars – small, dim stars making up about 75% of all the stars surrounding Earth – and the planets that orbit them. After internships at NASA Headquarters and Ball Aerospace’s Strategic Operations Office in DC, Katie became committed to pursuing a career that would help advance the future of space exploration through diplomacy and the development of space sustainability norms. This summer, she will be starting a part-time Ph.D. studying Space Domain Awareness through the University of Colorado Boulder Aerospace Engineering Sciences department. Outside of STEM, Katie served as president of her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma in undergrad, and now enjoys training for ultra-marathons and summit hikes, rock climbing, and learning guitar.

You can follow Katie on Twitter @katiemel25 or Website: katiemelbourne.me.

Read the transcript here.

Subscribe for The Latest Episodes