2017 Speakers

Guest Speaker: Dr. Wanda M. Austin

President and CEO, The Aerospace Corporation

Dr. Wanda M. Austin is the former president and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs. The Aerospace Corporation has more than 3,600 employees and annual revenues of $917 million. She served in this role from 2008 through 2016.

She is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation.

Austin serves on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, was appointed to the Defense Science Board in 2010, and was appointed to the NASA Advisory Council in 2014.

Austin is an honorary fellow of the AIAA, a counselor of the National Academy of Engineering, and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Southern California and the Board of Directors for the Chevron Corporation.

She has received numerous awards and citations. Among them are: the National Intelligence Medallion for Meritorious Service, the Air Force Scroll of Achievement, and the National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal. In 2010 she received the AIAA von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management, and she is a recipient of the 2012 Horatio Alger Award, the 2012 NDIA Peter B. Teets Industry Award, the 2014 USC Viterbi Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 2016 AIAA Goddard Astronautics Award. Austin is the author of Making Space: Strategic Leadership for a Complex World, published in 2016.

Austin is committed to inspiring the next generation to study the STEM disciplines and to make science and engineering preferred career choices.



Student Speaker: Bruce Allen Cousin

Bruce Allen Cousin is a 2017 dual-degree graduate in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan and Applied Physics at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is originally from West Bloomfield, Michigan, and is currently living in Huntington Beach, California, working as a service engineer for The Boeing Company in Seal Beach, California.

As a student, Bruce maintained high marks and remained dedicated to his peers and community. He served as a tutor and mentor to students at the University of Michigan and in the Atlanta University Center. He also fervently worked to expose grade-school students across Metro Atlanta and Detroit to engineering and physics.  As a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, he had the foresight to create a diversity and inclusion program at Michigan Engineering, involving the chairman of the National Urban League, vice provost and College faculty. During his undergraduate career, he also worked in two research labs, under Dr. Brent Gillespie and Dr. Justin Edmondson. Bruce will be pursuing a master’s degree in Systems Architecting and Engineering at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering in 2018.