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NextGen For Industry Award

Meet Kenneth Harris II, our September 2019 Winner


Kenneth Harris II

Senior Satellite Engineer, NASA

The youngest African American engineer in NASA's history to integrate a billion-dollar satellite in North America's largest clean room, Kenneth has made a remarkable impact on the country's space program in his 11 years at NASA. Most recently, he worked on the James Webb Space Satellite, valued at $10 billion - NASA's most expensive on-satellite mission - and expected to be 2,000 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope. 


"Using the lessons he’s learned from his numerous years in the field, Kenny utilizes his platform to engage with peers and younger STEM students," McNeill, a project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, continues. "He has also partnered with multiple schools to visit classrooms and encourage younger students to attend college and pursue STEM-related field, as well as becoming an ambassador for NASA’s education department and assisting with recruitment efforts to help increase diversity amongst incoming new hires. 

"Kenny is a true inspiration in both the industry and community," McNeill notes. "He is attempting to leave his mark on the world and show that representation in the field is extremely necessary."

Finding a Place in Space, Kenneth Harris Named NextGen for Industry


"The most challenging thing is wrapping your mind around the fact that you're doing something cutting-edge," Harris says of his work on NASA satellite missions. "You’re generally doing something that hasn't been done before - and trying to get it right." Read the entire article here.


They’re changing the way industrial companies think, work, and succeed. They’re The NextGen For Industry, and we’re putting them in the spotlight — with your help.

Questions? Contact Mikaela Tierney, Executive Editor, at mtierney@thomasnet.com.