Lillian Tso Receives Brooke Owens Fellowship

February 21, 2022 | By Angel Garcia

Lillian M. Tso, a junior in mechanical engineering minoring in aerospace engineering, has been awarded a Brooke Owens Fellowship- a nationally acclaimed nonprofit program that recognizes exceptional undergraduate women and other gender minorities and grants them paid space and aviation internships, executive-level mentors, and a lifelong professional network.

Lillian was chosen based on her commitment to her community, stand-out creative abilities, record of leadership, incredible talent, and her desire to pursue a career in aerospace. Her love of aerospace began when she was heavily involved in her high school's technology education program, and participated in the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars— a NASA space academy. It was that program that sparked her passion for space and trying to expand our human reach in the universe by exploring as far into the cosmos as possible.

Here at Georgia Tech Lillian is an active member of the Invention Studio serving as Craftland Master, helping maintain all the sewing machines, CNC embroidery machines, vinyl cutters, and other crafting equipment in the space. She is also active in SWE (Society of Women Engineers), where she enjoys the opportunities to meet and support many talented women in STEM. In her free time, she connects with her peers and nature as a part of ORGT (Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech) and is taking part in a backpacking expedition across Newfoundland, Canada this coming August.

Her passion for aerospace carries over outside of class with her involvement in GTRX, which is working towards the goal launching a rocket past the Karman Line – the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.

Lillian has honed her work skills by interning at Northrop Grumman Space as a Systems Engineer working on their ICBM/IRBM defensive launch vehicles as well as interning at the NASA Ames Research Center working on the Urban Air Mobility Program, Wind Tunnel Testing, and the Next Generation Mars Science Helicopter.

“As someone who eventually wants to aid in Mars human colonization, it was very exciting to work on a Martian system and aid with exploration!”

Lillian's hard work and enthusiasm for the field paid off when she was one of the 51 students chosen worldwide for a Brooke Owens Fellowship this year. The fellowship will provide valuable support to Lillian and her career for years to come. 

“The most exciting part about the fellowship is being able to join the cohort of 50 other incredible women in the aerospace industry. Having people who can support you and give you advice really helps in your career. In addition to joining the Class of 2022, I will be able to network with Brookie alumni and the fellowship mentorship pool and intern in the New Space industry. I am very excited to see where these opportunities take me!”

Moving forward Lillian plans to continue her lifetime goal of helping with human colonization on Mars because “I strongly believe that this is something that will happen in my lifetime, so I will push to be a part of the frontline.”

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