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More Satellite Hacking...

*** Universities Where You Can Learn How to Build Your Own Satellites
You can get an idea of which colleges and universities would be best for you by asking Amsat members for recommendations. For example, in the United Kingdom, Amsat members hold their annual meetings at the University of Surrey (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/), where students have built some of the world's most innovative amateur satellites.

Important note for women: some engineering schools are hostile (perhaps unwittingly) to women. If the other students exclude you from study groups, and if the professors are unfriendly, you will find the going to be much harder. Before choosing your school, be sure to talk with some of the professors and any women engineering majors. If there aren't any women in the department, watch out, because there is a reason for this. On the other hand, if you decide to be their only (or first) woman student, you can become a heroine by helping the professors and other students see that women, just like men, can do serious intellectual work.

The University of Arizona (http://www.arizona.edu) has a Planetary Science department that has built instruments for many satellites; its Optical Sciences department has built optical systems for surveillance satellites; and it has departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. That's where I got my master's degree in industrial engineering (which is cross disciplinary with all engineering fields). The opportunities were awesome and the professors did much to encourage women.

Carnegie Mellon (http://www.cmu.edu/) is one of the best universities for women who want engineering degrees, but it lacks satellite design expertise.

One of the most awesome places to get an engineering degree with emphasis on space satellites is the Utah State University, http://www.usu.edu/. Its Space Dynamics Laboratory http://www.sdl.usu.edu/ builds research satellites and components for other ultra-high technology satellites, for example the upcoming giant James Webb space telescope. They hire students! However, you may need a security clearance to work on some of their hardware or software. Also, the culture there is overwhelmingly Mormon, a religion that encourages women to stay home and raise lots and lots of children. Groan.

One final note. Most engineering professors like it when students come to their offices to talk about fun engineering projects instead of complaining about tests and homework. I got lots of free extra education by taking advantage of chats with professors, and reading the books and papers they recommended to me. If you make friends with professors this way, they can help you get an awesome job when you graduate.

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