In this Better Satellite World podcast series, we ask the question: “What would you do if you had the power to make the world a better place during your career?” Joining SSPI’s Lou Zacharilla to answer that question in the first episode are 3 members of the “20 Under 35” cohort of 2023: Onyinye Nwankwo, Atmospheric and Space Scientist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Amy Comeau, Lead Member of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner Chief Engineer’s Office; and Dr. Justyna Kosianka, Senior Remote Sensing Scientist at Ursa Space Systems.
Onyinye Nwankwo is an accomplished scientist in the field of upper atmospheric and space sciences, currently pursuing her PhD in Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Industrial Physics at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in her home country of Nigeria before obtaining a Master’s degree in Space Geophysics from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in Brazil and a second Master of Science in Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering from the University of Michigan. During her undergraduate studies, Onyinye served as an industrial trainee “Radio Signal Officer” at the Nigeria Port Authority in Lagos State, where her skills in maintaining radio signals and signal processing were key to ensuring efficient communication and navigation services. She went on to become a Scientific Officer with the Center for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency (CAR-NASRDA) in Anyibga, Kogi State, Nigeria, where she showcased her expertise in data processing, management and the operation of cutting-edge imaging technology. In this role, Onyinye provided key raw data handling for the All-Sky Airglow Imager and Fabry Perot Interferometer and made significant contributions to the understanding of atmospheric phenomena, which also bolstered Nigeria’s stature in space and atmospheric research. Before joining CAR-NASRDA, she worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Physics at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Umudike, Nigeria, where she handled a range of responsibilities for the department, including course instruction, design and implementation of research methodologies, contributions to lab experiments and management of administrative tasks. Onyinye was selected as one of the three Promise Award Recipients for the 2023 “20 Under 35” cohort. Read more about Onyinye.
Amy Comeau is a lead member of the CST-100 Starliner Chief Engineer’s Office at Boeing, a position that requires solving complex system-level design and integration challenges. As part of her current role, she facilitates factory tours of the Starliner program for key stakeholders, including legislators, community leaders, national and international customers, universities and other organizations, making constant use of her powerful communication and leadership skills. Amy began her career at Boeing in 2018 as a satellite systems vehicle engineer as part of a rotation program, where she led an in-depth analysis of test equipment anomalies and supported the setup and functional checkouts of various satellite payloads. Before joining Boeing, she worked in a fellowship for start-up Bryce Space and Technology as a Brooke Owens fellow – one of only 36 women selected for the fellowship in 2017. She also participated in NASA’s Micro-g NExT challenge as a student, during which she designed, developed and manufactured a tool that could seal micrometeorite debris holes on the International Space Station. Amy graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Read more about Amy.
Dr. Justyna Kosianka is a Senior Remote Sensing Scientist at Ursa Space Systems, with a history of designing and developing algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) analytics, geospatial modeling for synthetic SAR training data generation and data fusion. Within this she has focused on change detection as well as environmental monitoring analytics. Dr. Kosianka serves as the manager for Ursa’s SAR-based Analytics Team and has served as the technical lead for the company’s suite of SAR-based Earth observation analytics, including National Catastrophe, soil moisture, stockpile measurement, flood mapping, well monitoring and oil storage measurement and supply chain management. She was recently assigned the role of Product Owner for Ursa’s commodities-based product offerings. In this role, Dr. Kosianka is responsible for planning for design and development of commodities and Earth observation products, which helps set the direction for an entire suite of SAR-analytics-based products for the company. She has made particular progress in the area of 3D Change Detection while at Ursa, resulting in her being awarded 2 patents for SATELLITE SAR ARTIFACT SUPPRESSION FOR ENHANCED THREE-DIMENSIONAL FEATURE EXTRACTION, CHANGE DETECTION, AND VISUALIZATIONS (A-1 and B-1). Read more about Dr. Kosianka.
The 2023 “20 Under 35” cohort is sponsored by
The Deep Diving from Space series, sponsored by Ursa Space Systems, will resume in January 2024.
SSPI’s Better Satellite World campaign is made possible with the support of our corporate partners