Tracy Drain is a Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA and is currently the Deputy Chief Engineer for the Juno Mission to Jupiter.
Tracy graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Kentucky and earned a Master’s Degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, both in the field of Mechanical Engineering.
As an undergrad at UK, she completed four rotations as an engineering co-op student at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Upon graduating from Ga Tech in 2000, she officially joined the NASA family as a Systems Engineer at JPL.
In her 16 years at the lab, Tracy has been involved in the development, testing and operation of three missions: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (a science and relay orbiter at Mars), Kepler (a space based observatory searching for Exoplanets) and Juno (an orbiter at Jupiter).
Her work on these missions included tasks such as generating and refining requirements, leading the development of mission system fault trees, running and analyzing faulted test cases, and coordinating the operations team response to in-flight anomalies.
Her roles on these projects have included serving as the Transition Phase Lead and Lead Systems Engineer for MRO, the Mission Readiness Lead for Kepler, and now the Deputy Chief Engineer in operations for Juno.
During part of her time on Juno, Tracy split her time between Juno operations and management, serving as the Technical Group Supervisor for the Flight System Systems Engineering group.
While in that role, she provided guidance and oversight to other systems engineers supporting a variety of JPL missions.
Tracy is passionate about space exploration and STEM fields in general and loves taking every opportunity to share her enthusiasm with students, their parents and teachers.