Sky Chasers: The Women of GNSS
Throughout history, there have been countless women who have changed the landscape of the world: chasing dreams, breaking the glass ceiling, and smashing expectations. The GNSS industry was once a male dominated landscape. As with other industries, women made it their own and helped usher in a new era of equality paving the way for technological change and innovation.
These are the stories of just a few of the women who have had an impact on the GNSS industry:
Gladys West is known to many as The Mother of GNSS. She was a mathematician, a programmer, a project manager, a writer, and a doctor. Raised on a farm in rural Virginia, she became only the second black woman employed at the Naval Proving Ground in Dahlgren. She worked as a programmer of systems that analyzed satellite data and, later, as project manager of the Seasat Radar Altimetry Project, focusing on remotely sensing oceans. This project and her algorithms on the complex forces that comprise our planet’s shape would lay the groundwork for the Global Positioning System.
Throughout her career, she would win various awards, earn multiple master’s degrees and a PhD, would be honored with the USAF Hall of Fame induction, and would go on to inspire a new generation of young women as one of the many inspirations for the award winning film Hidden Figures.
Our next featured Sky Chasers are the team behind this month’s issue of the GNSS Simulation Nation newsletter. These three each hold a completely different skillset, but put together, resulted in a true collaborative effort that has pushed into many other projects besides just the newsletter.
As an Applications Engineer at Orolia Defense & Security, Alaiya support the production and integration of GNSS jamming and spoofing detection products. She supports Orolia’s vision of customer success through customer support, product integration, and training. Before joining Orolia in May of 2021, she earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Where can you see me next? “I’m actually hosting a presentation on Preparing the Warfighter for Adverse GPS Environments Through Simulation during the upcoming Defense Days virtual even hosted by Orolia.”
“I have a wonderful husband who I like to climb and bike with. I have an adorable dog I like to run with. My big hobby is traveling. I would like to go anywhere and everywhere.”
Leisa is the Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Manager at Orolia. She has a BA in Communications and Business and Master’s in Sports Management. Before joining Orolia, Leisa worked as a Sales Manger for TelePacific Communications followed by Spectracom Corporation. Eventually, she left Spectracom to work for Spirent followed by Pendulum Instruments then Sykora Enterprises. Interestingly, Spectracom would later be acquired and fully integrated into Orolia, bringing her career full circle now that she she has returned in a different role.
“Sports was my first love, but I was also intrigued by technology and have found the world of GNSS so interesting. GNSS is a necessary component of so many cool applications; from tracking animal migration patterns to launching rockets into space. The best part is the people and cultures I get to meet and work with on a daily basis. It’s been a fun ride these past 14 years.”
Where can you see me next? “I’m participating in the upcoming Simulation webinar and am always a presence at tradeshows that are showing off our simulation capabilities. I’m on the move a lot, but at the very least, you can expect to see me at ION GNSS+ 2022.”
Paige Lyndaker is the Social Media & Events Marketing Manager at Orolia. Paige earned her BA in Economics with honors from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. She joins Orolia’s Resilient PNT team from the finance industry and coordinates Orolia’s global social media presence and events management. Paige found her love for public relations, marketing, and social media while interning for the prestigious PR agency Sarah Hall Productions in New York City where she represented talent including skateboarding icon Tony Hawk and New York Times Bestselling Author Gabrielle Bernstein. She hosted and attended professional client events at The Today Show, Vogue Headquarters, Cosmopolitan Magazine and The Crosby Street Hotel to name a few.
“I’ve worked with some remarkable women throughout my career in historically male dominated industries. They remind me daily that we deserve to have a place in these circles. That our voice matters. That we are of no less value than the men we stand alongside. Orolia has a bright future ahead and I am thrilled to play a small part in our success.”
Where can you see me next? “I’ll be hosting Orolia’s presence at SATELLITE 2022 in booth #219 in Washington D.C. March 21-24 and at the Army Aviation Association of America Annual Summit in Nashville, TN in booth #2515 from April 3-5.”
Keep on eye out for these women. They are all coming from different backgrounds and different roles while spearheading the various GNSS initiatives that we are all a part of with this innovative industry. For most of you this shouldn’t be the first time you’re seeing them, but it certainly won’t be the last.
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