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Engineering Seminar

The seminar starts promptly at 4:30PM but arrive early to get some snacks :)


Bonnie Triezenberg,  is an engineering graduate of Calvin College (1979), the University of Michigan (1980), and UCLA (1982).  She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy analyst at RAND. Previously, she was a Senior Technical Fellow at the Boeing Company, specializing in agile systems and software development. In her extensive career at Boeing, she contributed to the successful deployment of over 100 space based systems, leading system and software development of for a wide range of complex embedded and enterprise processing systems for weather (GOES), communication (MILSTAR/EHF, HUGHES-NET, WGS), navigation (GPS) and imaging spacecraft for both government and commercial customers. At RAND she has focused on policy issues in national security, science and technology.

Abstract: Working in the space industry is a unique experience that forces you to learn four essential life lessons. 

The first is collaboration.  It takes hundreds of hands and minds to design, build, launch and sustain a spacecraft.  Success depends on the strength of the weakest link.  In space, “no one succeeds unless everyone succeeds”.

The second is humility.  No matter how good your team and how great your resources, designing for space still is “rocket science”.  Space is an unforgiving venue where your mistakes are magnified, your disasters visible to all. 

The third is intellectual openness.  Every time we execute a “first” in space, we learn some things we never knew before.  God’s creation is full of surprises and you’d better be prepared for them.

The fourth is stewardship.  Unfortunately, not all of the surprises are good and space is easily damaged.  From cold war nuclear testing to recent tests of “kinetic kill vehicles”, there have been unintended near-disastrous consequences of testing weapons in space.

Bonnie will give examples from her personal experience of the first three principles and then provide a brief overview of her current work focused on deterring the test and use of weapons in outer space.

February 2017
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