Conference Opening and Keynote – Dr. Farah Alibay (F/SI)
April 23, 2023 | 11:15 am - 12:30 pm
Farah Alibay is a French-Canadian Aerospace Engineer. Born in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), she spent most of her childhood in Joliette (Quebec) and of her teenage years in Manchester United Kingdom) tinkering with any project she could get her hands on and fascinated with space and exploration. These passions led her to pursue a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Aerospace & Aerothermal Engineering from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom) before moving back across the Atlantic ocean to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, USA) with a focus on Systems Engineering. In 2014, she joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where she is currently part of the M2020 mission, working on the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February 2021, and the Ingenuity helicopter, which performed the first powered flight on another planet in April 2021. Prior to joining the M2020 team, she worked on several other missions, including the InSight Mars Lander and its companion mission the Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats.
Outside of her day-to-day job, Farah has a passion for science communication, having appeared in newspapers, tv and radio shows, and conferences across the world. She is a fierce advocate for women and minorities in STEM and has given herself the mission of contribute towards making this field more diverse and equitable. She is also active in her local community, notably as a Big Sister in the Los Angeles Big Brother Big Sister program, and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, helping children navigate the foster care system. Finally, in her spare time, Farah can be found exploring the mountains near her home where she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.