Natalie Panek

Portraits of Strength features women in STEM who have helped break barriers and achieved great things within their industry. These are the movers and shakers making a better world for future female leaders in STEM. Here are the stories of how they’re changing the ratio, serving as role models for girls and young women across Canada, and inspiring us all.

My name is Natalie Panek

I am a Rocket scientist

When I was 10 I wanted to be an Explorer

I am proud of Getting an internship at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center solely through my own efforts. This was the ultimate exercise in perseverance and one of the most rewarding work experiences I have had.

I work as a Mission Systems Engineer in the Aerospace Industry.

The biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome is leaving behind my family and the city that I love (Calgary) to pursue a dream of traveling to space. Unfortunately the Aerospace Industry is centered in Eastern Canada, so it required a move from the West. I constantly have to work towards balancing a career with family and getting back to a place that affords me easy access to the outdoors and the mountains.

My advice to women is to dive head-on into challenge! See challenge and risk as a means to life-long learning and opportunities to push your limits. I think challenge and pushing limits ultimately leads to innovation.


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Portraits of Strength, Natalie Panek, Engineer

Do you know a woman in STEM who should be recognized as a Portraits of Strength role model? Nominate someone today!