UC San Diego alumna reaches for the stars.
This story was published in the Fall 2022 issue of UC San Diego Magazine
In January 2022, Deniz Burnham '07 reported for two years of initial astronaut training as a NASA astronaut candidate. A former intern at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Calif., Burnham is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and serves in the Navy Reserves.
At the time of her selection as a NASA astronaut candidate, Burnham had spent more than a decade in the energy industry, where she managed drilling optimization projects and emission reduction strategies for drilling rigs. She began her career as a field engineer on a remote oil rig in Purdhoe Bay, Alaska. As a lead field engineer, she was responsible for all aspects of the measurement and logging during drilling operations at drilling rig sites throughout the Arctic. Burnham received a degree in chemical engineering from UC San Diego’s Warren College before earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California.
Of the 16 current female NASA astronauts, Burnham joins fellow UC San Diego alumnae Jessica Meir, PhD ’09; Megan McArthur, PhD ’02; and Kate Rubins ’99.
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