Saudi engineer Mishaal Ashemimry is the newly elected vice president of the International Astronautical Federation, becoming the first Saudi woman to hold the position after receiving 14 majority votes from international representatives.
Her role as one of the federation’s 12 vice presidents enables her to further the development of the space sector globally and consolidate the direction of the IAF.
As a Saudi woman and the first aerospace engineer in the Gulf Cooperation Council, her position strategically places the Kingdom at the forefront of the industry and highlights the country as a global leader in the field.
Since September 2021, Ashemimry has served as special advisor to the CEO of the Saudi Space Commission Mohammed Al-Tamimi, a position in which she consults on developing a national space strategy, creates and leads space programs, and advises leadership on direction and execution.
Ashemimry was previously a space nuclear technology consultant at the aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman. She also conducted research funded by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center during her time as a research assistant at the Florida Institute of Technology
At 26 years old, the engineer was also president and CEO of her own aerospace company, MISHAAL Aerospace, established in 2010. The company developed space rockets, designed and launched its own line of cost-effective rockets titled the “M-rocket” series, completed static tests for hybrid rocket propulsion systems and provided global consultation.
In 2015, Ashemimry won the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award at the Arab Women Awards and in 2018 was awarded for her scientific achievements by King Salman.
She received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and aerospace engineering in 2006 and her master’s degree in aerospace engineering in 2007, both from the Florida Institute of technology.
She is a certified Nitrox, rescue and open water diver, a commercial pilot and is trained in real space flight conditions of zero-gravity.
Ashemimry is an expert in aerodynamics, missile and rocket stage separation analysis, vehicle design, wind tunnel testing, simulations and analysis, and computational tool development.