Ellen Ochoa: Ochoa earned her master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at Stanford and soon joined NASA as a research engineer in 1988. In 1990, she was selected as an astronaut and became the first Latina in space, flying aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 1993. She would go on to log almost 1,000 hours on four separate trips to space. Ochoa then became the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center, the second woman director in the center's history and the first Latina to hold the role. Ochoa received the Distinguished Service Medal, NASA's highest award, and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award. She has no fewer than six schools named for her, including an elementary school, a public charter middle school and a prep academy.
The Engineering Heroes program, which inducts its eighth class in 2019, was established in 2010 to recognize the profound contributions of distinguished alumni and emeritus faculty of Stanford School of Engineering. Past winners include Nobel Prize winners, inventors, writers, teachers and entrepreneurs who have shaped the world as we know it.
Engineering Heroes are considered and chosen by a panel of technology experts, faculty, alumni, students and historians who are charged with evaluating each nominee's impact and selecting those whose works and ideas set them apart.
This year's Stanford Engineering Heroes are:
- Barbara Liskov, computer science
- Ellen Ochoa, electrical engineering
- Walter Vincent, engineer degree
Please join us in congratulating our outstanding alumni!