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Friday, January 19, 2024

NASA Goddard Experts to Take Part in February STEM Conference 

Alongside experts from academia and industry, leaders from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will be on hand at the Feb. 25–29 PowerSource Global Summit conference in Orlando. Dr. Christyl Johnson ↗, Goddard’s deputy center director for technology and research investments, will deliver the conference’s keynote address on Feb. 26, sharing insights on space exploration developments as they relate to the 2024 summit’s theme: “Women in STEAM Powering the Metaverse.” “STEAM” adds “arts” to the “STEM” science, technology, engineering, and math acronym.   

“As NASA embarks toward a sustained human presence on the Moon and onward to Mars, it’s critical that we underpin our efforts with a diverse and inclusive community,” Johnson said. “I look forward to sharing NASA’s latest efforts at the conference and to bringing back ideas and perspectives that will help ensure our exploration reflects humanity’s values and aspirations.” 

Johnson has been a deputy center director at Goddard since 2010. In her current position, she manages the center’s research and development portfolio and formulates the center’s future science mission and technology goals.

In addition to Johnson’s keynote, NASA Chief Information Officer Jeff Seaton ↗ will attend and present on a panel, “Cybersecurity in a Hackable World,” at 7:30 a.m. EST on Feb. 27. 

Other Goddard speakers at the conference include Chief Digital Engineer Aaron Comis; research scientist Dr. Bethany Theiling ↗; Dr. Evana Gizzi ↗, an AI research lead at the center; and systems engineer Matthew Vaerewyck. The four will present an interactive panel, “From Vision to Reality,” that showcases Goddard’s digital engineering design capabilities. The panel will be 10:30 a.m. EST on Feb. 26. 

Dr. Omar Hatamleh, Goddard’s chief adviser for AI and innovation, will participate in a panel discussion, “Medical Technology’s Transformative Impact,” at 11:45 a.m. EST on Feb. 27. 

The private sector-led PowerSource Global Summit developed out of a 2016 collaboration that Johnson spearheaded to boost female representation in STEM ↗ fields. 

“Continuing dialogue allows us to move the needle forward to ensure a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workforce where barriers in STEAM careers cease to exist, particularly for women,” Johnson said. “That’s why it’s important for Goddard to participate in summits like PowerSource that convene STEAM professionals to share best practices and learn from one another. We need to engage the next generation, the Artemis Generation ↗, to build a diverse future workforce for exploration.” 

In the conference’s current form, it allows diverse experts across disciplines to exchange ideas about technology’s influences on society, according to its website. The February conference takes place at World Center Marriott in Orlando. 

Goddard is NASA’s premiere space flight complex. The center is home to the nation’s largest organization of scientists, engineers and technologists who build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study Earth, the Sun, our solar system and the universe.

Michael Maren
Michael Maren
Former marine biologist who likes to spend as much time in the tropics as possible, due to a horrible time I once had in Alaska. Brrrr.

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