Meet the first recipient of the Ken Miller Scholarship
Anne Aryadne Bennett has a passion for engineering and space. She also greatly enjoys research and seeing her work make a difference.
Bennett is the first recipient of the Ken Miller Scholarship for Advanced Remote Sensing Applications offered by USGIF in partnership with Riverside Research. The $10,000 scholarship benefits incoming or current master’s degree students who plan to enter the defense, intelligence, or national security workforce and are studying remote sensing and related topics.
While working full-time with Orbital ATK’s space systems group, Bennett is pursuing an online master’s degree in astronautical engineering from the University of Southern California, a USGIF-accredited school. With Orbital ATK she is currently a senior mission systems engineer developing new satellite technology supporting national security missions. Some of her areas of focus include small sat innovation, automated data processing, and orbital debris mitigation.
“The Ken Miller scholarship has made a huge difference for me,” Bennett said. “The funds will be a big help with the remaining courses I have in completing my master’s degree, as well as the doctorate degree I plan to begin in a couple of years.”
Bennett graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University. Previously, she worked in the information technology and customer service departments for solar technology provider SunPower Corp. Bennett also held a 9-month internship with the science and technology directorate at a U.S. intelligence agency, where she assisted engineering teams and participated in research and development projects.
“I enjoy research and being able to make a difference,” she said. “Highlights from my graduate and undergraduate studies and work experience are any projects encouraging an innovative approach and allowing me to find an answer that isn’t already known.”
When Bennett isn’t working, she enjoys outdoor activities, especially horseback riding, hiking, and ice hockey.
“They are great outlets for me to unwind, but also a way for me to think of new ideas for projects at work,” she said.
Bennett plans to achieve her second master’s degree in spring 2018 and intends to begin her Ph.D. studies shortly after to further support her work in innovative space technologies.