Diana Trujillo

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Diana Trujillo
Diana Trujillo (29795849390).jpg
Diana Trujillo

(1980-01-04) January 4, 1980 (age 41)
Cali, Colombia
Alma materUniversity of Florida
University of Maryland, College Park
Known forMars Curiosity Rover, Mars Perseverance Rover
(m. 2009)
Scientific career
InstitutionsJet Propulsion Laboratory
Goddard Space Flight Center

Ms.Diana Trujillo Pomerantz (born January 4, 1980) is a Colombian[citation needed] aerospace engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She currently leads the engineering team at JPL responsible for the robotic arm of the Perseverance rover.[1][2] On February 18th 2021, Trujillo hosted the first ever Spanish-language NASA transmission of a planetary landing, for the Perseverance rover landing on Mars.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Trujillo was born on January 4, 1980 in Cali, Colombia.[4] Her mother was a medical student when she got pregnant and had to leave her studies to look after her daughter.[5] Trujillo attended 'Colegio Internacional Cañaverales',[citation needed] a bilingual school accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).[6] From her school years, she had interest in science and questioned the roles that are traditionally associated with women.[4]

Uncertain but determined to overcome the economic difficulties that her family faced in Colombia, she moved to the United States at the age of seventeen with only $300.[7] In order to improve her language skills, she started English lessons at the Miami Dade College while working as a housekeeper, among other jobs.[8]

Trujillo enrolled initially at the University of Florida to pursue studies in Aerospace Engineering,[5] inspired by a magazine article about the role of women working on aerospace missions and having self-confidence in her strong Mathematical skills. While studying at the university, she decided to apply for the NASA Academy, being the first Hispanic immigrant woman admitted to the program.[5] She was indeed one of the two participants to get a job offer from NASA.[5] During her work at the Academy, she met NASA robots expert Brian Roberts, who convinced her to move to Maryland with the aim of increasing her chances in the Aerospace industry. Trujillo attended the University of Maryland where she was part of the Professor Roberts' research team focused on robots in space operations.[9] In 2007, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland. Her story was turned into a children's science book titled "Mars Science Lab - Engineer" by Kari Cornell and Fatima Khan[10] She was a member of Sigma Gamma Tau.[11]


Trujillo joined NASA in 2007, working at Goddard Space Flight Center on the Constellation program and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on human and robotic space missions.[12][4] She has served many roles, including Surface Sampling System Activity Lead and Dust Removal Tool Lead Systems Engineer.[4] She was responsible for ensuring Curiosity's sampling fulfilled its science objectives dust-free whilst maintaining operational safety. The Dust Removal Tool took her six months to develop, and brushes the dust of the surface of Mars to allow scientists to investigate the surface below.[13][14][15][9] It was used on Curiosity's 151st day on Mars.[16] In 2009 she was appointed telecom systems engineer for the Curiosity Rover.[5] Trujillo was responsible for the communications between the spacecraft and scientists on Earth.[17] She has also been Flight Ground Systems Engineer and Vehicle System Testbed Mars Surface Lead.[18][19] She was at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the rover landed on Mars.[20] In 2014, Trujillo was promoted to Mission Lead.[5][21][22][23] That year, she was listed as in the 20 most influential Latinos in the Technology Industry.[24]

Trujillo worked as flight director[25] on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover robotic arm[26]and on February 2021, she hosted NASA's first Spanish-language planetary landing show.[27]

She has been involved in several initiatives to inspire young women from Latin America and African-American women to pursue a career in science and engineering.[28][29][30][31][32][33][34] She took part in a discussion about Hidden Figures at the University of Southern California alongside Octavia Spencer and Pharrell Williams.[35][36][37] She has been a mentor for the Brooke Owens Fellowship, which she created with her husband Will Pomerantz.[38][39]

In June 2020, Trujillo was appointed to the Brooke Owens Fellowship's Executive Board[40][41] She was awarded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Bruce Murray Award for Excellence in Education and Public Engagement. She was featured on CBS' 2018 celebration of Women's History Month.

Personal life[edit]

Trujillo married Will Pomerantz in 2009. They have two children.[42]



  1. ^ Tiempo, Casa Editorial El (2020-08-01). "Diana Trujillo, colombiana detrás de la misión Perseverance en Marte". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  2. ^ "Una colombiana detrás de Perserverance, la misión espacial de la NASA que explora Marte para buscar el origen de la vida". BBC News Mundo (in Spanish). 2021-02-18. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  3. ^ NASA. "Juntos perseveramos: El aterrizaje del rover Perseverance en Marte". YouTube. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d "From Columbia to Mars - Behind the spacecraft - Perseverance". YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Diana Trujillo, Aerospace Engineer – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  6. ^ "The school". Cañaverales International School. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  7. ^ "Trujillo - MDC College Forum - Volume 19, Number 5". www.mdc.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  8. ^ "Diana Trujillo". Brooke Owens Fellowship Program. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. ^ a b A., Cornell, Kari (April 2016). Mars science lab engineer Diana Trujillo. Minneapolis. ISBN 9781467797221. OCLC 907585966.
  10. ^ "Mars Science Lab Engineer Diana Trujillo – ReadingWithYourKids.com". readingwithyourkids.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  11. ^ "Sigma Gamma Tau: Members". aero.umd.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  12. ^ "Celebrating Latinas in STEM: Diana Trujillo, NASA... - smithsonianlvm". Smithsonian Latino Center. Archived from the original on 2018-12-17. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  13. ^ "NASA: Curiosity Mars Rover brush at work". WTVR.com. 2013-01-08. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  14. ^ EFE. "La colombiana Diana Trujillo dirige misión de la NASA". El Sentinel (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  15. ^ "Diana Trujillo, colombiana que dirige el camino de exploración del Curiosity - EFE Futuro América". EFE Futuro América (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  16. ^ Echeverry, Manuel (2015-06-03). "Diana Trujillo, una colombiana jefa de misiones del Curiosity en la NASA" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2021-02-20. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  17. ^ "Diana Trujillo: NASA Jet Propulsion Lab engineer. Mars Curiosity team member. First-time dog owner". Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  18. ^ "Latinas in the US Speaker Biographies" (PDF). White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  19. ^ Interview with Diana Trujillo, systems engineer, archived from the original on 2018-04-01, retrieved 2018-03-31
  20. ^ "WE LANDED ON MARS - Martian Chronicles". Martian Chronicles. 2012-08-06. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  21. ^ "Meet Diana Trujillo: Colombian Behind NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover Functions". Latin Times. 2015-08-05. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  22. ^ "National Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Diana Trujillo #HispanicHeritageMonth". Adafruit Industries - Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!. 2016-10-15. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  23. ^ "Diana Trujillo, la caleña que supervisa en la NASA las misiones del robot que envía información desde Marte". Colombia New York (in Spanish). 2015-08-05. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  24. ^ "Diana Trujillo, líder de misión del Mars Curiosity, NASA". CNET en Español (in Spanish). 2014-09-16. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  25. ^ "Who is Diana Trujillo and why is her work linked to the success of Perseverance?". Latest News, Breaking News, Top News Headlines. 2021-02-19. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  26. ^ mars.nasa.gov. "From Colombia to Mars". NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  27. ^ Nuñez, Gabriella (2021-02-15). "NASA to offer Mars rover landing coverage in Spanish for the first time". WKMG. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  28. ^ American Latino (2016-09-07), Diana Trujillo - Colombian Exploring the World and Mars | America Latino, retrieved 2018-03-31
  29. ^ Carlos Sarmiento (2014-05-20), Interview with Diana Trujillo NASA, archived from the original on 2021-02-20, retrieved 2018-03-31
  30. ^ IDB, el BID-the (2016-01-13), Diana Trujillo - From Cali to Mars, archived from the original on 2019-03-29, retrieved 2018-03-31
  31. ^ "Diana Trujillo, Aerospace Engineer | AOL.com". www.aol.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  32. ^ Univision Noticias (2015-05-17), "Vamos a llevar al hombre a Marte": Ingeniera de la NASA Diana Trujillo, archived from the original on 2019-04-06, retrieved 2018-03-31
  33. ^ "Diana Trujillo" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2018-09-16. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  34. ^ "Hecho en América: Diana Trujillo, la colombiana que está detrás de las exploraciones en Marte". www.univision.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  35. ^ "Hidden Figures screening inspires talk about math and representation - USC News". news.usc.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  36. ^ "USC Partners with #GirlsBuildLA for 'Hidden Figures' Screening to Celebrate Girls in STEM". 2017-01-09. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  37. ^ "L.A.'s teenage girls find representation at 'Hidden Figures' screening - USC Rossier School of Education". USC Rossier School of Education. 2017-01-12. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  38. ^ "Brooke Owens Fellowships will boost women in aerospace (and we're helping)". GeekWire. 2016-10-08. Archived from the original on 2018-04-01. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  39. ^ "Our Team". Brooke Owens Fellowship Program. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  40. ^ "BROOKE OWENS FELLOWSHIP WELCOMES NEW LEADERS TO EXECUTIVE TEAM". Brooke Owens Fellowship. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  41. ^ "How the space sector is responding to the killing of George Floyd". SpaceNews. 2020-07-15. Archived from the original on 2020-07-16. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  42. ^ "De Cali a Marte: el camino que recorrió Diana Trujillo para liderar una misión espacial". www.elpais.com.co. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  43. ^ "Diana Trujillo, líder de misión a Marte, será condecorada en Congreso". ElTiempo.com. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  44. ^ "Diana Trujillo on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  45. ^ "Diana Trujillo Pomerantz - Enciclopedia | Banrepcultural". enciclopedia.banrepcultural.org. Retrieved 2021-02-18.

External links[edit]