Bonnie Prado, Ph.D. Student

Graduate Assistant, Minority Engineering Program

bpradopi@purdue.edu

A native of Quibdó, in the state of Chocó, Colombia, Bonnie Prado received her B.S. in Electronics Engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, in 2009. During her last year as an undergraduate student, Bonnie worked as a visiting scholar for the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her senior design project under the supervision of Professor Robert Bishop. Her undergraduate thesis is entitled, Trilateration Implementation for Obstacle Detection in an Autonomous Rover.

In 2012, Bonnie was awarded her M.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin where she worked under the supervision of Dr. Belinda Marchand. During her time in Austin, Bonnie became an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), where she held various leadership positions.

Bonnie is currently a PhD student in Astrodynamics and Space Applications at the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and is a member of Professor Kathleen Howell’s Multibody Dynamics Research Group. Her current research focuses on the trajectory design of secondary payloads, mainly exploring nonlinear control strategies for low-thrust spacecraft’s trajectory optimization in multi-body regimes, via both direct and indirect methods, when the thrust levels are those limited by the operational constraints of small satellites.

Since spring 2017, Bonnie started working as a Graduate Assistant for the Minority Engineering Program (MEP), where she had previously worked as a Calculus instructor for the Summer Engineering Workshops (SEW).

Bonnie’s professional experiences include being a Trajectory Design Intern for Emergent Space Technologies Inc. in Greenbelt, Maryland; Assistant to General Chair for the 2016 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Propulsion and Energy Forum’s Executive Planning Committee; Program Director for The Afro-Latino Experience Organization’s Science Technology, Engineering, and Math Summer Camp; and Controls Engineer Intern for Cummins Inc. in Columbus, Indiana. Bonnie is also a recipient of the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship, as well as a past COLCIENCIAS fellow (COLCIENCIAS is the Colombian Administrative Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation).

In 2014, Bonnie found the Afro-Latino Experience Organization (ALE) a non-for-profit initiative that seeks to expose underrepresented students from disadvantaged regions in Colombia, to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. 

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