Date: Nov. 29, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EDT
Topic: Human Spaceflight Exploration-Electro-optics Engineer
Julie Williams-Byrd works at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. She is currently an electro-optics engineer for the Space Mission Analysis Branch and leads a technology and integration team that identifies and presents technologies that could enable human spaceflight exploration. She has identified, assessed, prioritized and presented current and future technologies that would enable human spaceflight exploration to decision-makers at NASA Headquarters.
Williams-Byrd began her career at Langley designing and developing solid-state laser systems used for remote sensing of the Earth's atmosphere. She is committed to encouraging young scientists and engineers by mentoring summer interns. Williams-Byrd also makes presentations and provides hands-on activities at local schools, and she judges local science fair competitions.
During high school, she thought she wanted to become a Supreme Court judge. Then her father suggested she consider a career in engineering. After giving it some thought, she adjusted her career plans and pursued engineering. Williams-Byrd has bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from Hampton University in Hampton, Va. A NASA scholarship funded her graduate school education and the research she did in graduate school.
She is married and has two sons. Her favorite hobby is reading mystery novels. Her philosophy is "All things are possible!"