Karla Benjamin Clark
Class of 1979
Karla has taken her high school science education to great heights with her work in outer space. While at Finneytown, she was a National Merit Commended Student, a member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies, and a winner of a National Merit Scholarship from Proctor and Gamble.
She went on to Rice University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1983, and the University of Southern California, where she earned masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management. Karla has published over 20 papers on Aerospace Batteries, Power Systems, and Spacecraft Designs. For the past sixteen years she has worked in Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, in Power Systems, Avionics Systems, Spacecraft Systems and Project Management. Currently she is working on development o f radiation hardened electronics and management industrial contractors for JIMO (Jupiter Icy Moons Orbit).
She also worked on the Pluto Kuiyper Express Flight and the Outer Planets/Solar Probe Project.
Several years ago Karla was the keynote speaker for Scope Out 2000 at the Cincinnati Observatory. She delivered the Nick Flerlage Science Lecture on the “The Mysteries of Minor Planets; Twists and Turns Along the Journey,” in which she described some of the engineering problems and other unexpected challenges faced by NASA as they attempt to explore the outer planets.