Lift-Off Year 04

We’re delighted to share that our 4th Annual Lift-Off Event was an incredible success! This year’s event was our biggest and best yet, and we were thrilled to see so many enthusiastic attendees join us in celebration.

Dr. Meera Komarraju, CSUN Provost, provided a warm welcome to 350+ guests from NASA/JPL, industry, CSUN, K-12 academia, and government. We had the honor of welcoming a distinguished keynote speaker, Dr. Debra Emmons, who delivered an inspiring speech that captivated the audience. Our Dancing SPOT robot was another highlight of the event, which delighted everyone with its impressive moves!

In addition, our student speakers and poster exhibit showcased the incredible talent and achievements of our students, who left everyone impressed and inspired. We were delighted to have provided a platform for our students to share their stories and accomplishments with the community.

We are grateful to everyone who RSVP’d promptly, and their support helped us plan the perfect amount of delicious food and fun activities for everyone to enjoy.

We’re thrilled to have had such a wonderful opportunity to connect with our students and faculty, along with industry leaders, and to have made new friends who share our passion for excellence.

Looking back, the event was an unforgettable experience that we’ll always cherish. Thank you to everyone who joined us, and we can’t wait to see you all again soon!

Video Credit: Sean See

Keynote Speakers


Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Aerospace Corporation

Dr. Debra L. Emmons is vice president and chief technology officer (CTO) at The Aerospace Corporation. In this role, she is responsible for providing vital leadership for determining and executing the company’s technology strategy and investments. Emmons leads four offices: eLab, responsible for setting the technical investment strategy and priorities; iLab, responsible for bringing transformational, game-changing concepts to fruition; xLab, responsible for developing, building, and operating prototypes; and the newest Commercial Space Futures (CSF) office, responsible for driving the harnessing of commercial solutions for government missions to advance U.S. space. She also manages the company’s $60M+ internal research and development program and the Aerospace Technical Fellows program with the company’s top engineers and scientists. Emmons serves as chairperson of the Office of the CTO Roundtable with federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) and university-affiliated research centers (UARCs) to develop and maintain relationships with government and other defense-related research laboratories to identify technology priorities, future requirements, and emerging opportunities.

Meera Komarraju

Northridge’s (CSUN) Provost and Vice President

Meera Komarraju, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, has been appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Northridge.

Komarraju comes to CSUN with more than three decades of experience in higher education. In addition to her work as provost and vice chancellor at Southern Illinois, she has been a dean, associate dean, department chair and an undergraduate program director. She assumes her new job in the first week of January 2023. She is succeeding CSUN’s current provost, Mary Beth Walker, who is retiring at the end of 2022.

California State University, Northridge
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