For inspiring women to enter the STEM fields
Natalie Panek is a senior engineer in Mission Systems at MDA, a Maxar company. She works on Canadian space robotics and space exploration programs, including the ESA’s ExoMars 2020 rover.
An avid adventurer, she obtained her pilot’s license and helped build and drive a solar-powered car across North America. Panek completed an internship at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and attended a Space Studies Program at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
Through her website, thepanekroom.com, and social media, frequent speaking engagements and volunteering, Panek works to change the ratio of women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. She mentors others through programs such as Cybermentor.
Panek is the 2013 recipient of the University of Calgary Graduate of the Last Decade Award. She was named to Forbes 2015 30 under 30 list, joins an elite group of women as one of WXN’s Top100 award winners (2014) and received the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering Diversity and Equity Alumni Award (2018).