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Celeste Ford

MS ’80, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Story originally published on Oct 2016
I am an engineer. To me, being an engineer means having high impact. I think that is what sets engineering apart from science. As an engineer, your end game is a system that works and makes something better and has high impact.

Whereas a byproduct of the science world is a paper or a theory. In the end you need strong math and science to do both, but there’s a totally different motivation as an engineer.

I got to a point in my career where I felt I had gained a lot of experience and it was time to focus on what I wanted to do in order to have high impact. And not coincidentally, I had young children at the time. If I was going to be away from them, I knew it had to be for something great. So I was driven. That was when I decided to start Stellar Solutions. At Stellar we are global providers of systems engineering, integration, and program management expertise. We’re recognized leaders in government and commercial programs related to the aerospace field, which means we get to work on everything from intelligence satellites to missile warning systems for defense to how to get to Mars in the Civil sector and commercial “internet in the sky” projects. I had a vision for a company that would satisfy our customer’s critical needs – not the tenth most important need, but the most important thing they want to do – while also realizing our dream jobs of being systems engineers. I wanted to create a reality where I would get up every morning and love what I was doing, and I wanted that for everyone in the company. We celebrated Stellar’s 20th anniversary last year. It’s been an unbelievable ride.


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