Minh Lê, PhD student in mechanical engineering, was named one of the International Astronautical Federation’s Emerging Space Leaders, as chosen by the IAF Emerging Space Leaders Sub-Committee composed of highly experienced space stakeholders. She will travel to Milan, Italy, in October 2024 to participate in the 75th International Astronautical Congress.

Lê is specializing in the mechanics of hypervelocity impact on rubble pile asteroids. She received a BS in astronomy and astrophysics from Florida Tech.

At Florida Tech she studied a B-type binary star system and had the opportunity to present posters on her work at the Florida Academy of Sciences in 2019 and 2021. As the president of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space chapter at Florida Tech, she organized technical workshops and aided members in attending SpaceVision 2019. Lê was part of the L’SPACE NASA Proposal Writing and Evaluation Experience Academy where she co-wrote a proposal for ISRU on the Moon that was among the award-winning proposals in the academy.

After graduation, Lê participated in the Young Scientist Program of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science where she studied the possibilities of extinct or extant life throughout Martian history. These opportunities ignited her desire to follow the applied research path and aid with future space missions. Lê has given presentations on her PhD work on hypervelocity impact experiments at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference and Mach Conference.

Lê believes that space studies and exploration should be a collaborative effort not only between nations, but also between commercial companies and government agencies to share knowledge, enable technology development, and allow humanity to advance faster in this space-faring journey.