Name: Kristen Facciol
Program: Aerospace Engineering
University(s) / College(s) Attended: University of Toronto
Education / Degree(s): BASc
Current Job Title: Robotics Flight Controller
Current Employer: Canadian Space Agency
Email: Send Email
Fun Facts About Me
Share one fun fact about yourself: I find that my life is incomplete without music. I have learned to play 11 different instruments throughout my life, and am often singing songs in my head if I am not actively listening to something. If I had not become a Flight Controller, I would probably be trying to find my way into the world of Broadway
The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........ ?: It is difficult for me to pick just one person who has been an inspiration. For me it is the whole organization behind Human Spaceflight and Flight Operations. This includes the engineers and instructors on the ground, to the many astronauts who have dedicated their lives to their career, and everyone involved from Flight Control through human research across all International Partners. I work with so many inspiring people every day who are all working towards a common goal, and that is what keeps me motivated.
Why did you choose to study engineering?: I chose engineering because I wanted to ensure that whatever came next in my life would be built on a strong foundation. I always had an affinity for math and science, and wanted to learn the ways in which these subjects were applied or could be applied to improve our future. Not only did studying engineering mean I would graduate with a professional degree, but also that I would have a better understanding of how the things around me worked.
How do you apply your engineering degree to your current career?: I am currently working as a Robotics Flight Controller, which utilizes my degree in many ways from a technical perspective as well as makes use of the soft skills I developed while in school. Primarily, my job involves working as part of a multidisciplinary team whose focus is on system operations and problem solving. In order to perform well in these scenarios, it is important to have a strong understanding of the foundations – like control systems, communication protocols, and electronics – so that they can be correctly utilized.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in engineering?: If you are hoping to pursue a career in engineering, my advice is to find an area you are interested in and passionate about. To me, engineering is about finding ways to improve the world we live in, and you are more likely to want to do that for something that is meaningful to you. Engineering is definitely a difficult area of study and generally results in a career path that can be challenging. Without my interest in space exploration and knowledge that what we learn on orbit can help us here on Earth, it would have been much more difficult for me to pursue this path.