Reaching for the Stars at NASA

Posted on: 17 July 2015

First year PhD student Lauren McKeown is carrying out scientific research at NASA this summer after being selected for a prestigious international summer internship programme.

Lauren is one of two Irish postgraduate students who were selected on a competitive basis from a pool of nominees to spend 10 weeks immersed in scientific research at NASA's world-renowned AMES Research Centre in Silicon Valley, California. Lauren and Conor O’Toole, a Masters student at University College Dublin are joining a group of interns from around the world.

The internships are provided by NASA and supported by the Irish Research Council under a Partnership Agreement between the two organisations.

A PhD student with Trinity’s Earth and Planetary Surface Processes Research Group led by former NASA scientist, Dr Mary Bourke in the Department of Geography, School of Natural Sciences, Lauren has aspired to be a NASA planetary scientist since she was 15 years old.

Inspired by a news report on the first sighting of water reservoirs on Enceladus, the sixth-largest moon of Saturn, Lauren’s ultimate goal is to “gain experience with world-class researchers at NASA and to eventually be in a position to help provide a platform for future Irish physics students to follow their interests in planetary science.”

PhD student Lauren McKeown who is carrying out scientific research at NASA this summer