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Women’s Day 2020 is just around the corner. To celebrate, we are introducing you to a few of the engineers that make up our team. Get to know a few of the amazing women that have chosen Kepler as the place to make their mark in the aerospace industry.

Sarah McKenzie-Picot

Systems Engineer 

About Sarah:

It’s my job to know all aspects of our satellites at a system level. I’m involved with a satellite from start to launch.  I set the requirements that we will build to, I do assembly and integration, as well as testing of the final product in preparation for launch. My current focus is preparing for launch and early operations of our upcoming satellite, TARS.

I grew up loving aircraft, and started flying at 15. I was inspired by my father’s stories of flying with agriculture spray programs. For a time, I wanted to work on aircraft design, but I’d also always harboured a deep interest in space exploration, the sheer vastness of the universe, and the potential of life on other planets. Space always felt like the biggest unknown and the place for the most interesting discoveries to be made, both in scientific observations and technology creation. The space industry gives me an opportunity to understand the universe just a little bit more.

Warda Alavi

Satellite Operations Engineer 

About Warda:

Space has been something that’s interested me ever since I was a child. I was digging through my old school documents and found a bit of homework from grade 3 where we were asked what we wanted to do when we grew up. My answer? Astronaut. Well, now that I’m older and wiser, I appreciate living my life on Earth a bit more, but space still remains incredibly fascinating. That’s why I decided to become an aerospace engineer. Now at work as a satellite operations engineer, I’m living out my childhood dreams of mission control centers, of operating spacecraft miles and miles outside of Earth’s atmosphere, and of bringing about positive change to the world by helping real people on the ground, whether it’s by providing Internet access to the remote corners of the world or by aiding in the growth of scientific knowledge through data connectivity. The space industry has always been a dynamic and ever-evolving part of human history, and I’m very proud of the fact that I get to be a part of it.

Vanessa Lewis

Communication Systems Modeling Engineer 

About Vanessa:

I model and simulate Kepler’s network to ensure we meet the regulatory standards and assist with spectrum coordination between Kepler and other operators. I enjoy being a part of the aerospace industry as it is a highly innovative field. The space sector is constantly facing new challenges and I am excited to be a part of finding their solutions.

Catherine Swayne

RF Engineer 


I am responsible for designing our radio frequency circuits and antennas. I ensure our system can communicate between the satellite and ground systems and meets our system requirements. I have always been interested in hardware engineering and developing systems to help improve people’s lives. I developed a strong interest in RF engineering and electromagnetics during school and have enjoyed tuning and matching microwave circuits and simulating electromagnetic designs ever since.

I remember visiting the Kennedy Space Center as a child and being awed by the complexity of the technology and the thought of exploration. At Kepler, I’m able to be part of this inspiring industry and provide data connectivity to remote areas of the world to help people communicate and transfer data that otherwise would not be possible.

Happy Women’s Day! 


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