Diana Trujillo was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, where as a young Latina she imagined exploring and traveling through space. At the age of seventeen, Diana immigrated to the United States to pursue her dream of one day working for NASA. Beginning in 2008, she was able to achieve that goal, joining NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an aerospace engineer.
Currently, Diana serves as one of the Surface Flight Directors for Mars 2020 Project, NASA’s next generation Mars rover, Perseverance. In that role, she is tactically responsible for the team that analyses the rover’s telemetry and behavior to ensure that it is healthy. Previously, she served as the Deputy Surface Phase Lead on the mission’s Robotic Arm and the SHERLOC and PIXL scientific instruments which identify, evaluate, and collect critical information on the surface of Mars. She is a former Mission Lead and Deputy Team Chief of the Engineering division of Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), NASA’s first generation of the advanced Mars rovers.
Diana earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, with additional studies at the University of Florida. She is also a graduate of Miami-Dade Community College and the NASA Academy.
Diana is part of the executive team of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, a highly competitive program that provides internship and mentorship to extraordinary undergraduate women seeking careers in aviation or space exploration; a member of the TECHNOLOchicas campaign to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in technology; a member of the board of the Columbia Memorial Space Center, a science center open to the public and based in a predominantly Latin@ community; and a member of the board of the Children’s Center at Caltech, a center that is revolutionizing early child development education. She is a recipient of the 22 Mas award, presented by the government of Colombia to the 22 most inspiring Colombians, and was the host and co-producer of the first ever NASA broadcast in Spanish of a Planetary Mission.
Dr. Lowe has been studying sharks, rays and bony fishes for over 30 years, focusing on their behavior, physiology and ecology. For the last 15 years, Dr. Lowe and his students have been studying juvenile white sharks off the coast of southern California. Using a wide array of technology, they have found that white sharks use southern California beaches seasonally as nursery habitat for their young. This brings juvenile white sharks in close proximity to beach goers. Dr. Lowe and his student use a wide array of technologies, engineering, and computer science to help lifeguards and the public understand the mysterious lives of sharks and just how much of a threat they may actually pose. Dr. Lowe was featured on Ologies with Alie Ward where he talks about the need for shark scientists to collaborate with computer scientists and engineers to bring about the future in marine research (Selachimorphology (SHARKS) with Chris Lowe — alie ward).
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