News ≫ SLF 2012 Award Winner for “Outstanding Performance by Young Professional, Melony Mahaarachchi-SpaceX and NASA Mars 2020 Engineer and how she became a Real-Life Rocket Scientists

SLF 2012 Award Winner for “Outstanding Performance by Young Professional, Melony Mahaarachchi-SpaceX and NASA Mars 2020 Engineer and how she became a Real-Life Rocket Scientists

Feb 24, 2021
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“Within my first three months as SpaceX, I was in charge of rocket engine electrical cables. My heart was pounding and I wanted to run and come home – it was a huge responsibility. ” – Melony Mahaarachchi

Melony Mahaarachchi is a prolific mechanical, robotics, and rocket engineer. She came to the United States with her husband and two young children from Sri Lanka, and built her career completely from scratch after graduating from UCLA with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Melony has worked at SpaceX, Boeing, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the Mars Rover 2020 mission. At SpaceX, Melony worked very closely with the one and only Elon Musk on Merlin Engine design team for the Falcon 9 rocket. (Read her story on Refinery29)!

Influenced by her own personal and professional experience, she founded a non-profit iSTEM Without Borders in 2015 to empower young women in STEM careers.

In this conversation, we discuss:

What working with Elon Musk was REALLY like at SpaceX Breaking barriers and overcoming adversity in her early life in Sri Lanka.

The importance of asking for what you want and learning how to negotiate
Much, much more…

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