Natalie Panek

A rocket scientist and explorer with a clear vision of more women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers.

She has helped build a solar-powered car, worked on a mission to Mars, and engineered next generation robotic arms to repair broken satellites in space – and through these activities witnessed the positive impacts technology can have on society.

Natalie is a rocket scientist, explorer, and advocate for women in technology. As a Mission Systems Engineer at MDA Space Missions, Natalie works on the next generation of Canadian space robotics, and other Canadian space exploration programs. Ms. Panek’s love of space and aviation led her to obtain a private pilot’s license to fly a single-engine aircraft, as well as build and drive a solar-powered car from Texas to Alberta.

With a sense of adventure, the ability to push limits, and an insatiable desire for learning coupled with a strong desire to travel to space, an aerospace career was a natural choice for Natalie.

She attributes her success in a primarily male-dominated field to perseverance, perspective and positive attitude. She drew on all three in her bid for an internship at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, failing multiple times and learning from those failures to make her dream a reality.

Natalie is the 2013 University of Calgary Graduate of the Last Decade and the Northern Lights Award Foundation Rising Star in Aerospace. She is a catalyst for inspiring the next generation of women to pursue challenging careers. And she thrives on using innovation and creativity to find solutions to complex and advanced problems.

As Canadians, we need to foster the imagination and the drive of youth, especially young women, to influence, change, and revolutionize the world; encouraging women to strive for excellence and to establish strong foundations. Ms. Panek will encourage participants to innovate, create change, and become fearless leaders with the power to revolutionize the world.

Join panelists Irene d’Entremont, an entrepreneur, Natalie Panek, a rocket scientist, and Hazel McCallion, Canada’s longest serving mayor, at A Bold Vision for a candid dialogue on breaking through gender barriers and achieving growth and success.