Lauren Smith is a program manager for the Satellite Servicing operating unit within the Tactical Space Systems division of Northrop Grumman Space Systems. In this role, Smith leads the portfolio of programs that advance the future of in-space refueling.
Smith has served in multiple, diverse air and space roles across her career at Northrop Grumman. She was recently the operations manager for a portfolio of 13 ground and data processing programs as well as the chair of the company’s first-ever Systems and Software Engineering Symposium. Smith was also the mechanical test engineering manager for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and a member of the JWST integration and test senior staff as the lead for non-explosive actuators and deployments. As a program manager in Resilience and Rapid Prototyping, NG Next, and Advanced Unmanned Systems, Smith has executed numerous programs and contributed to several strategic captures.
Before joining Northrop Grumman, Smith worked at NASA Glenn Research Center in the Simulated Lunar Operations Lab. She also conducted her thesis work at Glenn, specializing in mechanisms and robotics. This work contributed to being named one of Aviation Week’s Twenty20s.
Smith currently serves on both the Space Foundation and Case Alumni Association board of directors, as well as the industry advisory board for her alma mater’s mechanical and aerospace engineering departments. She is a member of the AIAA ASCEND Guiding Coalition, serves on two committees for the International Astronautical Foundation, and has held numerous leadership roles for the Space Generation Advisory Council. Smith has also been recognized as a Future Space Leader Grant winner.
Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, and a minor in political science from Case Western Reserve University.