From a love of space to a thriving career with Northrop Grumman

 June 03, 2021

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Stephanie Locks grew up in Orlando, Florida, which gave her a first-hand experience of NASA space shuttle launches. Now, she is an acclaimed engineer at Northrop Grumman.

“When a launch was going on everything would stop everyone would go outside. We'd stand in the field and watch the tiny light as it went up in the sky,” she explains.

Inspired by space at a young age

When she was 12 years old, Stephanie went on a tour of the entire Kennedy Space Center. There, she met real-life astronauts, and was able to ask them questions about their careers in space.

It wasn’t until that visit to the Space Center that Stephanie realized she could also follow this career path.

“That’s one of the most exciting things to me about engineering,” she says. “Taking this idea and making it a reality.”

A career with a purpose


Stephanie explains that Northrop Grumman does everything in the engineering space – designing, prototyping, testing and then manufacturing products, enabling the company to collect data from start to finish.

For Stephanie, one of the best aspects of working at Northrop Grumman and in the defense industry is that “you can do really cool things.”

“You’re making the latest, greatest thing,” she explains. “It’s stuff we need so it has a purpose.”

Recognition for her work

Stephanie is also the winner of the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), an achievement that is “incredibly special” to her because it recognized the hard work she has done in industry research.

Now, she is reinvesting in an industry that have given her so much. “I’ve started to teach young women how to be in the manufacturing space, how to use the machines, and how to CAD,” she explains.

Advice to her past self

Finally, Stephanie muses on what she would say to her past self who first saw the space shuttle launch.

“It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but you’ve got this. You’re going to figure everything out and it’s going to be worth it.”

Launch a successful career in the space industry at Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman employees like Stephanie are pioneering across every sector of space, helping government, civil and commercial customers tackle some of their biggest challenges. The company’s forward-leaning, pioneering spirit is backed by a legacy of expertise that began at the dawn of the space age.

From defending freedom to advancing human discovery, employees are defining what is possible in space every day.

Join the adventure. Search jobs at Northrop Grumman.


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