Welcome to my blog! My name is Shannon Statham, and I am an aerospace engineer currently working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. If you aren’t familiar with the name JPL, you’ve likely heard of JPL because we are the ones working for NASA who put rovers on Mars and explore the Solar System using satellites, probes, telescopes, and so forth. JPL also works on a number of Earth Science missions to learn more about our home planet and how it is evolving. Most of my work at JPL so far has been on Earth Science projects that measure rain, clouds, and storms for climate and weather modeling.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and my PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). While earning my PhD, I visited a place called Devon Island, a Mars-analog site in the Canadian Arctic, for field tests related to my dissertation topic. I plan to blog about those trips and my experiences in the future, so stay tuned! At JPL, I oversee the assembly and testing of flight hardware and manage small satellite projects.
My hobbies range from salsa dancing to rock climbing to Yoga. I’m also a bit of an adrenaline junky. I’ve gone skydiving and bungee jumping, I have a SCUBA license, and I love roller coasters. Educational outreach, particularly for STEM and to encourage young girls to pursue their interests in STEM fields, is a big passion of mine as well. Aside from my busy day job and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, I love spending quality time with my husband and our fur-child, Bailey. Lastly, I’ll leave you with my favorite quote: “Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was.” – Theodore von Karman.
Note 1: I am not related to the action movie star, Jason Statham, but we may be distant cousins given there’s not too many Stathams out there.
Note 2: Pronunciation of my last name is State-um or Stay-thumb. Either is acceptable.