Meet our guest: Sharon Langenbeck, Ph.D.
"Look for opportunities, where you can grow, where you can gain experiences, and by all means, never give up."
Growing up, Sharon Langenbeck planned for a career that would provide independence and self-sufficiency. She was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia and was the first woman with a technical Ph.D. at the Lockheed-California Company. While at Lockheed-California, Sharon became a project manager, developing new high-temperature aluminum materials for high-speed aircraft, and receiving a patent for the invention, while also being a part-time faculty member at California State University, Northridge. In 1988, she was appointed a division manager, the first woman to hold that position in the Directorate. Sharon joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 1990 where she worked on the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 for Hubble Space Telescope after which she was appointed the first female technical section manager at the lab. As section manager for mechanical engineering she managed over 200 engineers designing and developing space flight hardware for numerous projects including
the Mars missions and rovers.
A longtime member of Zonta International for 41 years, Sharon has held positions at the club, district and international levels of Zonta and is now serving as international president.