Just Ask Heidi: Winning NASA’s Silver Snoopy Award


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First, we asked you to send in your questions for Happy Holden, Joe Fjelstad, Eric Camden, John Mitchell, and Tara Dunn in our “Just Ask” series. Now, it’s Heidi Barnes’ turn! Heidi is a senior signal and power integrity engineer at Keysight Technologies. She has written over 20 papers on SI and PI, and she is an active member in developing the new IEEE P370 standard involving interconnect S-parameter quality after fixture removal. Heidi has been awarded five patents and a NASA Silver Snoopy award (each Silver Snoopy pin flies on a space mission first), and she was named DesignCon's 2017 Engineer of the Year. We hope you enjoy “Just Ask Heidi.”

Q: I’ve never heard of the Silver Snoopy Award. How does someone win one of those?

A: The Silver Snoopy Award is a special award given by NASA astronauts to men and women contributing to spaceflight safety and mission success. While working for NASA at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, I had the privilege of working on hydrogen fire and gas detection systems to improve the safety of operating liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen rocket engine technology. Growing up, I used to see one of the original Silver Snoopy Award pins on display at the ice rink in Santa Rosa, owned by Charles M. Schulz. Charles Schulz designed the Snoopy pin during the Apollo space program, and every pin flies in space before it is awarded to the Silver Snoopy recipients. It was a proud moment when I had the opportunity to let “Sparky” Schulz know that one of his local skaters had gone on to be an engineer for NASA and receive the Silver Snoopy Award. 

To submit your questions for Heidi, click here.

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