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Photo of Shonte Wright
   Shonte Wright
   Thermal Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Alta Dena, California
United States Of America
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High School: John Muir High School, Pasadena,  CA
BS, Mechanical Engineering, UC San Diego
MS, Mechanical Engineering with emphasis Thermal Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University

Background Information
Shonte Wright is a Thermal Engineer in the Thermal and Propulsion Engineering Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). While at UCSD Shonte found the heat transfer and thermodynamics portion of the curriculum to be particularly fascinating. This interest motivated her to pursue an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering - with an emphasis in the thermal sciences, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT). While at JPL, Shonte has worked on a variety of projects, most recently the Mars Exploration Rover (MER). On the MER project, Shonte was a Thermal Systems Engineer responsible for tracking and verifying thermal resources and functional requirements; regarding these matters she was the technical interface with systems engineering, all thermal elements, and project management. Shonte's systems engineering role was extended to include heater design and qualification, flight hardware instrumentation, and spacecraft thermal testing. Prior to becoming involved with the MER project, Shonte was a member of the Europa Orbiter/Pluto Kuiper Thermal Team. Her responsibilities included the design, implementation, and verification of the preliminary thermal designs of the Europa Orbiter propulsion module, main engine assembly, and thruster cluster assembly. Shonte also worked with the Center for Space Mission Architecture and Design in a simulation of a concurrent formulation phase design process in which her thermal analysis of a Europa Orbiter Spacecraft design case was highlighted. In addition to her MER and Europa Orbiter/Pluto Kuiper work, Shonte supported the solar thermal vacuum test of the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft at Lockeed Martin (Denver, CO). Since the successful launch of the first of NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s twin rovers, Shonte has moved on to support other thermal efforts at JPL. Currently, Shonte is providing thermal hardware and test support to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) project, the CloudSat project, and the Herschel/Planck project (a European Space Agency mission), all while providing thermal analysis support to the Deep Space Network (DSN). In addition to her work on these projects, she is a Technical Recruiter for the Mechanical Systems Engineering and Research Division. In her spare time, Shonte works with JPL’s Minority Education Initiatives Office offering science based presentations in underserved communities. Also in support of the office, she participates in numerous other student and community outreach programs at conferences, universities, and community events.

Shonte has been awarded by JPL for her work in initiating the JPL Thermal Tool User Group, and for her supporting role with the Center for Space Mission Architecture and Design. She has been an invited guest speaker/presenter for NASA's Thermal Fluids and Analysis Workshop, for the Cullimore and Ring Technologies Conference, for Caltech student programs, for the NCAT-Mechanical Engineering Department, and countless events in support of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Association of Black Engineers Scientists and Technologists (ABEST). In honor of Shonte’s work within her field and her devotion to student outreach, she was selected Phenomenal Woman of the Year in Science and Technology in 2002 by a committee at California State University, Northridge, and she has been featured in several publications.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

I am supporting the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter-Mars Climate Sounder thermal hardware selection, design, and implementation effort, as well as the spacecraft thermal vacuum test. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

content image for personal reflections section Being a young engineer I have found goal setting and mentorship to be of tremendous value to me. After I set my early, mid, and late career goals I found that it was much easier to identify opportunities for growth, and to ask meaningful questions of my mentors. [more personal reflections ...]