Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne currently serves as an assistant program scientist for the International Space Station, based at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas. Her roles as assistant program scientist include communicating the ISS’s scientific accomplishments with the general public, the leaders at NASA, the U.S. Congress, and scientific and educational communities. She is the only woman of Caribbean descent in a top position at NASA.
Alleyne was born in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and left the island in 1983 at the age of 17 to study at Howard University in Washington, D.C. There, she earned her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering with an aerospace option. She went on to pursue a Masters from Florida A&M University in mechanical engineering with a specialization in composite materials and became one of two persons in her program recruited by NASA to work at the Kennedy Space Center as a flight systems engineer. She worked there for two years before she attended the University of Maryland to pursue another Masters in aerospace engineering with a specialization in hypersonic aerodynamics and propulsion.
After graduating with her second Masters, she was recruited to work with the Missile Defense Agency under the U.S. Department of Defense on several ballistic missile defense projects as an aerospace systems engineer.
After her projects with the Department of Defense, Alleyne applied to NASA’s Astronaut Program in 2003. Out of the 4,000 applicants in the elite program, Alleyne made it to the final twelve but did not make the final round.
Shortly after the experience, Alleyne was hired by NASA. Her return to NASA coincided with their Constellation and Orion programs, where she worked as a lead system engineer, crew module systems engineer, and test manager.
This aerospace engineer Dr. Alleyne is truly an inspiration to the Caribbean especially young girls. Dr. Alleyne and her foundation:
The Brightest Stars Foundation (a non-governmental organization that is dedicated to educating, empowering and inspiring young women to be future leaders in the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Founded in 2007 by Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne, the Brightest Stars Foundation has inspired and empowered over 3000 young people, globally, to see their potential and to strive for excellence in their academic pursuits.)has empowered 10,000 girls from the Eastern Caribbean, 1,500 from each island.
Her message to them is “to dream big dreams and to know that there is no limit to what they can achieve with hard work, determination, focus and a belief in themselves.” As a well accomplished university scholar in the STEM field she plans to visit several islands starting with Trinidad in order to motivate girls in the Caribbean.