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Producer of satellites

Julie Baumgartner, ‘11

Occasionally, it hits Julie Baumgartner that she has “the coolest job in the world.”

Just a few years ago, she wouldn’t have imagined she’d be doing what she is today. Baumgartner, a program planner at Lockheed Martin Space, and her coworkers produce satellites that go to space.

Baumgartner’s husband, Peter, is an aerospace engineer. One day he said something that was a breakthrough of sorts. He said his employer, Lockheed Martin, needed people who didn’t have engineering degrees.

Baumgartner had earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management from CMU in 2011. Raised in Lakewood, Colorado, she first attended Northern Arizona University, later transferring to CMU.

“I missed Colorado,” she said, and she wanted smaller classes and more interaction with professors. “I felt like I was able to get involved right away at CMU,” she said, “and professors gave out their cell phone numbers. If you had a question, even on the weekend, you could call and they would call back.”

After graduation, Baumgartner worked as a Denver-based admissions counselor for CMU and as a hotel events manager, a position that required keeping track of “…many, many moving parts. When you have 30 events going on, everything has to come together,” she said.

Among many other skills, her proven ability to keep track of those many moving parts helped her land a job with Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, in 2016.

Baumgartner is part of a team that recently completed the latest global positioning system (GPS) satellite. Yes, that GPS. The U.S. Air Force owns and operates the GPS and in July will launch the satellite into space.

Baumgartner works with manufacturers of satellite components making sure everything is coordinated and on schedule. She said of the process, “I saw a piece of aluminum. That became a clip. That’s now part of the satellite, and it’s going to space. This is the coolest job in the world!”

Baumgartner said she learned confidence at CMU. “I don’t hesitate to ask questions of my leaders. I learned that by being able to reach out to my professors, building those connections.” •


Written by Deborah Dawes