University of Michigan alum Erin Levesque.

Michigan Alum Embarks on a Spacecraft Engineering Career

Spring 2024 | Chicago

University of Michigan alum Erin Levesque recently started a career as a spacecraft mechanical engineer at Rocket Lab, an aerospace manufacturer and launch service provider. Erin first learned about Rocket Lab while studying aerospace engineering as an undergraduate student and was impressed by their global lead in launch and space systems.

Erin was recruited by Rocket Lab to join their ranks after completing her studies in aerospace engineering at Michigan. Today, she designs components on high-performance satellite systems and owns the complete design lifecycle through analysis, test, production, and integration.

“I am passionate about working in the commercial space industry because it is a rapidly growing technological environment that pushes the boundaries of human knowledge,” she says. “Spacecraft engineering requires innovative solutions to unique constraints, such as creating a vehicle to survive in the harsh environment of space for a prolonged time.”

As a young child, Erin enjoyed imagining inventions and visiting planetariums to learn about space. When she was selected to be a STEM Scholar at the University of Michigan, she was excited to have the support of Posse as she navigated through her studies in the aerospace industry.

During her undergraduate career, Erin connected with professionals in the field and learned about the myriad intersecting subfields of aerospace. She also founded the Black Students in Aerospace (BSA) where she advocated for equitable change within the UM Aerospace Department. Through BSA, she organized events and facilitated discussions to help foster a sense of social and academic belonging for Black people in aerospace.

After graduating, Erin continued her studies at the University of Michigan and received a Master of Science in aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Throughout her career at Michigan, she received invaluable support from the UM Posse community, her posse cohort and her mentor. She credits Posse for being with her at each step of her journey from college to career.

“If I needed someone to study with or grab a ‘de-stress’ lunch with, there was always someone in my Posse that I could call on,” she says. “I also had exceptional mentors who provided me with perspective and guidance as I navigated the University of Michigan and planned for my future career path. I’m proud to now be a part of the Posse alumni community.”

Erin plans to continue innovating spacecraft technology to help improve people’s everyday lives—from combating environmental degradation to improving global internet accessibility.

"It has been a dream to be able to partake in expanding the commercial space enterprise and to see its positive effects on mankind.”