An interview with Emma Farnan

Name: Emma Farnan

Current Job: Graduate Student

Scientific Discipline/Field: Aerospace Engineering

Country: USA

Pick some letters (L,G,B,T,Q,+, etc.): BT

Website: N/A

Twitter or other social media handle: Twitter – @ohmyemma_ Insta – @emfarnan

What does your job involve?

I research laminar-turbulent boundary layer transition for hypersonic flows.

How did you get to this job (education etc.)?

Undergraduate research and academic studies

Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?

I was terrified that coming out as transgender would ban me from entering any STEM field. Now that I am successfully in the process of transitioning, without compromising my career aspirations, I hope to be a positive role model within my career for LGBT aspiring students.

Have you had any reactions from colleagues about being LGBT, either good or bad?

I had nothing but positive reactions from my fellow students. But when coming out to my supervisors, I was fired from my research position for being transgender. Ultimately, I was able to get everything worked out but I almost lost my opportunity for an advanced degree due to starting my transition.

Did you have any role models growing up (LGBT, STEM, totally unrelated.)?

Neil Armstrong, Carl Sagan, Brian Cox,

What are your plans for the future?

To finish my PhD and continue into industry as an Aerospace Engineer. One day in the future, I would love to become the first transgender astronaut.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Transitioning has truly been the most amazing experience and I am excited to wake up and see myself in the mirror every single day.


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