Natalie Panek

Natalie is an accomplished scholar. She holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Applied Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. Impressively, she has driven a solar powered car across North America, was one of two Canadians selected for NASA internships in 2008, and then received a scholarship to attend the International Space University Space Studies Program at NASA Ames from the Canadian Foundation for the International Space University, where she participated on the ACCESS Mars team project.

Natalie is currently performing systems engineering for robotics on the International Space Station at MDA Space Missions as part of the Logistics and Sustaining Engineering team. She was the operations engineer for the Next Generation Canadarm project, responsible for robotic workspace analysis, mission planning, and execution of final demonstrations to the Canadian Space Agency and NASA during a Heads of Agency visit. Given Natalie’s expertise with robotic kinematics, she has also consulted on a variety of other projects at MDA including NeuroArm2 and the DARPA Phoenix program.

Natalie volunteers for MDA outreach activities to promote Canadian space exploration and technology, at events around Toronto including Space Days at the ROM and at multiple space events at the Ontario Science Centre.

Beyond her actual day job, Natalie strives to strengthen the role of women in engineering careers, including the creation of thePanekRoom, a directory of resources for women to become involved in science, engineering, and technology. She is an ambassador for young women in engineering and aims to inspire the next generation of females to dive head-on into challenging careers.