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Tracy Drain and Danielle Nuding — NASA Engineers — Speaking Today

Watch a profile of Tracy Drain from the "Hidden Figures, Modern Figures" series. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2017)  Tracy Drain, a University of Kentucky College of Engineering alumna, and her colleague Danielle Nuding will be on campus today, April 13, speaking about their careers as NASA flight systems engineers and the paths they took to get there. 

A public talk will take place at 4 p.m. in the Gatton College of Business and Economics' Woodward Hall, Room 307. A Q&A and reception will follow.

Both women are engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and have contributed significantly to multiple space missions.

Drain, from Louisville, Kentucky, currently serves as the deputy chief engineer for the Juno mission. In her 17 years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she has participated in the development and operation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Kepler mission and the Juno mission. Drain has also served as supervisor for the Flight System Systems Engineering Group. She was featured last year by 20th Century FOX in its "Hidden Figures, Modern Figures" series. Drain received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from UK and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Nuding is currently working on the Mars 2020 rover, the next rover mission slated for the Martian surface. Specifically, she works on integrating the entry, descent and landing cameras for public outreach and the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument. She also trains university students through a new course at the University of Colorado Boulder that provides hands-on experience in mission concept development. Nuding received a bachelor's degree in physics, atmospheric science, and math from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a doctoral degree in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder.

The talk is sponsored by KY NSF EPSCoR (Kentucky’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research sponsored by the National Science Foundation), UK's Office for Institutional Diversity and the Kentucky-West Virginia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KY-WV LSAMP).


Photo of Tracy Drain
Photo of Danielle Nuding

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