Magdalena Wierus - Intermediate Operations Engineer (Logistics and Sustaining Engineering)
- Quote: Be confident in your abilities, but be open to learning from colleagues and superiors.
- Bachelor's, aerospace engineering
- Master's, space management
- Master's, strategic business valuation
- Job title: Intermediate Operations Engineer (Logistics and Sustaining Engineering)
- Employer: Canadian Space Agency
- Directorate: Space Exploration
- Projects at the CSA: Canadarm2, Dextre
I remember the first time I saw Canadarm2 in space. The software team is not on console during the operations much, but my manager took us in, me and a colleague who had also just been hired, to experience operations first-hand. The first time I looked up, I thought it can't be real! It's actually in space! (laughter) It really hit home. That is what I was going to be working on. I was going to be working on that arm, and we were going to be doing amazing things in space. That was my space moment—it really amazed me.
There are a lot of things in my life that have led me here, and I guess I'm proud that I was strong enough to continue on, keep my integrity and be myself. Throughout my life, I've been able to stay connected with my roots and who I am, and I think I owe that a lot to my parents, how they raised me.
Magdalena is an aerospace engineer. With her team, she develops software to enhance Canadarm2 and Dextre performance and operations. She is an alumnus of the International Space University and, as a member of the CSA's Women in Science, Technology and Management Committee, is also an advocate for women in STEM. She is a mother of two young children.
What is unique about your job?
I work with national and international organizations to understand the needs of the Earth observation community and translate their technical requirements into policy for the Government of Canada.
Which professional accomplishment are you the most proud of?
I am very proud of my work with the International Space Station group at the CSA. I was tasked with helping maintain Canadarm2 and Dextre. Taking part in real-time responses to on-orbit anomalies has helped keep the arm working and performing essential tasks.
Who or what helped you the most throughout your career?
I've been blessed with many great supervisors who have supported my development and identified opportunities for me to grow.
What advice would you offer to girls or women?
Be confident in your abilities, but be open to learning from colleagues and superiors. Don't be afraid to admit that you don't know something—you will learn a lot from being honest.
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