Session 11 –  Sustainability

Nicole began her career in 1987 as a structural design engineer with Pratt and Whitney Government Engines in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she spent a year with the Advanced Engines Group performing structural analyses of advanced jet engine component designs.

Nicole joined NASA at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, in 1988 as an Operations Engineer in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF). During her time at KSC, she held a variety of positions within NASA Shuttle Processing, including Shuttle Flow Director for Endeavour; Orbiter Project Engineer for Columbia, and NASA Convoy Commander for shuttle landings. During her last two years at KSC, she was a member of the Space Station Hardware Integration Office and relocated to Huntington Beach, California, where she served as the NASA Project Lead for the ISS truss elements under construction at the Boeing Space Station facility. In 1998, she joined the Johnson Space Center (JSC) team in Houston, Texas, as a member of the NASA Aircraft Operations Division, where she served as a Flight Simulation Engineer (FSE) on the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) helping train astronaut pilots to land the space shuttle.

In 2012, she returned to JSC where she served as the Astronaut Office Space Station Integration Branch Chief, responsible for a team of engineers that represent the astronaut perspective associated with the hardware and technical aspects of the ISS. In 2014 she transitioned to serve as the Chief of the Vehicle Integration Test Office, responsible for a team of engineers that manage the astronaut interface to existing and future flight hardware; and she was also the lead Astronaut representative to the Orion Landing and Recovery team, responsible for determining how we will recover astronauts from the Orion spacecraft after splashdown.

As a retired NASA Astronaut, Nicole is pursuing her next adventure as a full time Artist. Inspired by her spaceflights, she is using her artwork to share the awesome beauty she experienced through the windows of the Space Shuttle and Space Station and the visor of her spacesuit, and to promote the amazing things we’re doing everyday in Space that benefit us all right here on Earth. She is also looking forward to spending more time with her family and to actively supporting STEAM/STEM educational organizations.