UTEP Student Works with NASA on Designing Exploration Vehicle Concepts
May 27, 2010 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
El Paso, Texas resident Liliana Barreda, is a 2010 spring intern with NASA’s Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP). Barreda is spending 15 weeks working full-time at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX working in the Systems Architecture and Integration Office. Barreda is working on NASA’s full scale Crew Module mock-up for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), used to evaluate the human interfaces to the spacecraft.
"The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle will allow humans to possibly go to the Moon and Mars," Barreda states about her project.
Her main job is using model software to design, build, and install new parts needed for the mock-up, to keep it current with the latest flight vehicle design and try out alternative concepts. She also helps with Flight Design Evaluations by observing assessments and assists with set up and test team support in order to learn more about the vehicle designs.
This is Barreda’s third internship with NASA. She was a NASA USRP intern in the fall of 2008 at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. She returned to Marshall in the summer of 2009 to intern with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) through Minority University Research and Education Programs (MUEREP).
"Every NASA center is different, but what makes the agency unique is that it’s engineers and scientists have a passion for what they do. I could not find anybody more inspiring than the people I work with everyday," Barreda comments about being a NASA intern.
Born in El Paso, TX, Barreda graduated from high school in Juarez, Mexico. Currently she is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso and is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. She expects to graduate in December 2010. "Being a NASA USRP intern has been a life changing experience for me… getting to meet astronauts, learning from NASA’s engineers, and helping a cause that has, is and will continue to change the future are only some of the reasons I love being part of this program. I understand now, better than before, that I am a part of something greater and it is my job to make the best of it not only for me, but for humanity," Barreda adds.
Barreda intends to continue to pursue her career in engineering with NASA and would also someday like to work in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) education.
Originally posted on NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program .