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Honorary doctorate recipient

Farah Alibay

Doctor of Science (DSc), 2023
For being an inspirational role model in aerospace engineering

Dr. Farah Alibay is a trailblazing aerospace engineer who works tirelessly to make STEM fields more inclusive. 

In 2014, Alibay joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as part of the Mars 2020 mission. Her work on the Perseverance Rover, which landed on the Red Planet in February 2021, and the Ingenuity Helicopter, which accomplished the first controlled flight on another planet in April 2021, garnered widespread media attention. She recently published her first book, Mon année martienne (My Martian Year), recounting the frenetic months leading up to these historic missions. Since 2022, she has served as the engineer in charge of flight systems for SPHEREx, an infrared telescope expected to launch in 2025. 

The daughter of immigrants from Madagascar, Alibay is deeply aware of the need for role models of diverse backgrounds in engineering. In this spirit, she has become a passionate science communicator. Through her frequent media and public-speaking appearances, she encourages women and members of equity-deserving groups to pursue careers in STEM fields. 

Alibay’s scientific achievements, inspirational outreach work and selfless volunteerism have earned a growing list of prizes and awards. Recent accolades include the Médaille de l’Assemblée nationale du gouvernement du Québec (2021), being named “Personality of the Year 2021” by Le Devoir, an honorary degree from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (2022) and an appointment as a Commander of the Ordre de Montréal (2023).  

At the ceremony

Farah Alibay, was granted her Doctorate of Science at the fall 2023 ceremony for the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. 

You can watch the video below.

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