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AEM spotlight:

AEM alumna recognized by NASA for technology achievements

Michelle Brekke, an AEM alumna and director of Johnson Space Center's Technology Transfer Office, was recently recognized for her achievements in commercializing NASA technology.

Paul Dye

Photo courtesy NASA
Michele Brekke was recently recognized for achievements in technology

From a NASA release earlier this month:

 As director of JSC's Technology Transfer Office, Michele Brekke has learned that technology can be anything from inflatable space habitats to methods that lower the vibration of transports for critically ill infants. More importantly, she understands the importance of marketing those inventions and the need to develop strong partnerships between NASA and industry.

Brekke will be recognized for her success in commercializing NASA technologies at the annual Top Houston Women in Technology gala on June 9.

She has been named a winner of the 2007 Leadership in Technology Award, given by the Houston Chapter of the Association for Women in Computing (AWC).The Leadership in Technology Award recognizes Houston business women who have made an outstanding contribution in computer-related fields.

Brekke will be recognized along with other award winners at the prestigious event, expected to be attended by more than 400 top Houston business and educational professionals.

"Mrs. Brekke has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities since she began her work with the Houston Technology Center in 2005," said Jill Sweeney, AWC president. "Her strong leadership has stimulated the partnership program between NASA and the private industry and has shown how developing technologies and the advancement of new or existing technologies supports a new generation of space systems."

Brekke is being honored for her efforts to commercialize NASA technologies and developing partnerships between NASA and industries that help meet NASA's mission needs while contributing to competitiveness in global markets. Additionally, her community efforts and associated work with the Houston Technology Center also played an important role in her nomination.

During a year with the Houston Technology Center serving as a NASA loaned executive, Brekke worked with area entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies. In addition, she coordinated breakthrough technologies for potential partnerships with NASA.

In her present position, Brekke manages programs that encourage the transfer of technology from NASA into the private sector, develops partnerships with industry and businesses and works with NASA, industry and academia to develop innovative partnerships for break-through technologies. She also works with JSC NASA engineers and scientists to ensure successful patenting of their inventions.

Brekke earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. Since joining NASA in 1977, she has held successively more responsible positions in both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Program offices. Some of the positions she has held include serving as a flight director in the Mission Operations Directorate, as an assistant mission manager and flight manager in the Space Shuttle Program Office and as associate chief of the Space Medicine and Health Care Systems Office.

The Association for Women in Computing is a national, not-for-profit, professional organization formed in 1978 to encourage women in technology-related careers. The Houston chapter is among the largest and oldest in the country. AWC promotes communication among women in technology, assisting in professional development and advancement.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 22-Aug-2012 11:35:26 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation