Inspirational Women in Science – Diana Trujillo
During Science week, we will learn a little about how woman have worked hard to break down barriers to them getting jobs working in science and engineering.
Our first inspirational woman in science is Diana Trujillo, who was the flight director on the recent Perserverance Mission to Mars. Find out a little about how she had ambition and achieved her goal to work with NASA.
Who is Diana Trujillo?
Her Early Life.
Diana Trujillo was born in Cali, Colombia in South America in 1981. As a child growing up in Colombia it was difficult and dangerous as the country was poor and violent.. Diana Trujillo would lie beneath the stars, look to the sky and think, “Something has to be out there that’s better than this.”
Diana grew up with the mind-set that it was the woman’s place to take care of the men in the family. Her mother gave up learning to be a doctor so that she could care for Diana as a baby. “As a little girl, I saw the women in my family give up a lot. It gave me the tenacity that I needed to say I’m not going to give up on my dream,”
Moving To America.
When she turned 17, Trujillo, who did not speak English, flew to Miami with just $300 in her pocket to start living life the way she wanted to live it. To put herself through community college, she secured a housekeeping job, and was able to transfer to the University of Florida, where she majored in aerospace engineering.
Trujillo applied to the NASA Academy her senior year of college, and was the first immigrant Hispanic woman to join the program. NASA hired her that year, and in 2009, she became a telecom systems engineer for the Mars Curiosity Rover, which landed successfully on Mars in 2012. Now, as a member of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, Trujillo is more than proving that value, as her hard work helped create the robotic arm that the Perseverance will use to collect rock samples on Mars during its mission. In 2021 she was the flight director of the Perseverance mission which successfully landed on the surface of Mars.