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Stefanie Ruel

“My #AeroPassion is to aim for the stars.”
Stephanie's Biography

Stefanie Ruel, resident of Saint-Basile-Le-Grand, Quebec, is mother to four children and married to her husband of nine years. Ms. Ruel, graduate of McGill University with a Bachelor’s of Science, Major Mathematics, and of Athabasca University’s MBA program in 2011, works full time for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and is a third-year doctoral student at Athabasca University. At the CSA, she is employed as a Life Sciences Mission Manager in the Astronaut, Life Sciences and Space Medicine (ALSSM) division. In her capacity as a Mission Manager, she works with Canadian researchers in the international field of space science initiating, developing, leading and executing science-based missions aboard microgravity vehicles including the International Space Station.

Life Sciences Mission Manager in the Astronaut, Life Sciences and Space Medicine (ALSSM) division, Canadian Space Agency, St-Hubert, Quebec.

The Canadian Space Agency has set out to ensure that all Canadians learn and benefit from the innovations of space science and technology to the greatest extent possible. Its objectives are to support and promote a highly competitive space industry and address the needs of Canadian society. With almost half of Canada’s GDP growth in the knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy, the Canadian Space Program is a key driver behind continued leadership on the world stage, new opportunities for industry and scientists, and long-term social and economic benefits for all Canadians.

My favorite part of the job is seeing tangible benefits coming back to Earth to assist Canadians. I have worked with international teams that have brought knowledge forward and countermeasures to combat such challenges as osteoporosis and visual perception deficits.

All of my projects have been interesting! I think however the one mission that stands out as the most challenging physically, mentally and had the greatest impact on me personally was working on STS-95 with U.S. Senator John Glenn. Being part of his return to space and experiencing first-hand his enthusiasm for space and space-based research, notably in the area of osteoporosis research, was and continues to be a defining moment in my career.

The challenge with working in the space industry involves recognizing the need for patience. You don’t immediately see the impact your work has on everyday lives but you know that you are adding to knowledge that will one day lead to socio-economic benefits for all Canadians.

My vision for women in the aerospace industry is that we will stand as equals with men in this male-dominated industry. To this end, my doctoral research is focused on the discourses that we – men and women – use within this industry and how these narratives assist in the marginalization of women.

Point your skis down the hill and push… don’t look back, look forward… go straight over the ice and the bumps along the way. You will make it down that hill to go down another one, now even faster and stronger than when you went down that first hill.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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