University of Arizona
Bachelor of Science - 2017
2015 USRA Scholarship Winner
Namrah has always been interested in science. Growing up, her family spent vacations and weekends going to museums to learn about different fields of science. But it was an all-day trip to Johnson Space Center in Houston that inspired her to learn more about past and current NASA missions and the International Space Station. She says she was fascinated "by the engineering and problem solving that has gone into getting us where we are today." She is now working to contribute to space research.
Namrah's research experience includes studying chemical compounds in circumstellar envelopes of carbon rich stars at Arizona Radio Observatory. At Univ. of Arizona, she has worked extensively on OSIRIS-Rex, a NASA mission which will visit the asteroid Bennu and bring back a sample from its surface. Namrah did surface analog analysis in preparation for selecting a site from which the spacecraft will take its sample. This work included determining the distribution and size of boulders at a potential sample site on the asteroid, and analyzing geological features on Mercury (as an analog) using stereo photogrammetry processing. Namrah has also worked in Systems Engineering Verification and Validation at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, verifying design requirements for NASA's Space Launch System. She plans on taking all this experience to work in space systems engineering, hopefully to contribute to missions to Mars or research in space exploration.
On the OSIRIS-Rex project, Namrah appreciates her supervisor's knowledge, expertise, kindness and helpfulness. As she says, her supervisor has helped her "in developing my career path and exploring different options in space systems engineering."
For her scholarship application, she chose her references based on people who she thought had an opportunity to get to know her as a student. Her advice to students preparing applications is to be open in their application and not to overthink their responses.
Namrah is an avid reader, with one of her favorite books being Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment." She also teaches and competes in martial arts, Krava Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and has earned two gold and two silver place finishes in competitions.