Christine Bland is an aerospace electrical engineer, artist, and photographer. For over 30 years she’s worked for Lockheed Martin, designing electronics for NASA spacecraft including the Spitzer telescope, Phoenix Mars lander, Mars rovers (Spirit and Opportunity), Mars orbiters (Grail, Juno, Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), and deep space probes (Stardust and Genesis). Since 2009, Christine has led the development of electronic hardware for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, designed to take humans farther into space than ever before. Christine is also a keen advocate for diversity and inclusion in education and STEM for trans people, with the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals naming her the LGBTQ Engineer of the Year in 2014.
In this episode of the Create the Future podcast, we speak with Christine about her incredible journey from Apollo 11-inspired child to launching her own work into space. We hear how an inclusive workplace culture and pride group helped her come out as trans in 2011, how she now champions LGBTQ equality in STEM, and discuss the importance of mentoring to ensure diversity in engineering. We talk all things problem solving, collaboration, and find out what it meant to be awarded NASA's prestigious Silver Snoopy Award.
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