Judith A. Resnik


Judith A. Resnik
Photo by Donald Huebler
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IEEE Judith A. Resnik Award


Born 5 April 1949, Dr. Resnik was one of the first women in space. Her education consisted of graduating from Firestone High School in Akron, OH in 1966. She attended Carnegie Melon University, earning a BS in electrical engineering in 1970, and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1977. She was employed by RCA as a design engineer and later joined the National Institutes of Health as a biomedical engineer.

She was chosen as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1978, after which she completed a 1-year training and evaluation program. She flew her first mission on 30 August 1984.

She was a member of IEEE, Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu. She was also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She enjoyed playing the piano, and liked to bicycle, run and fly.

On 28 January 1986 she died when the Orbiter Challenger exploded on take-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The IEEE honors her memory and courage with the IEEE Judith Resnik Award, which it established in 1986. This award is presented to an individual or team, to recognize outstanding contributions to space engineering.