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ECE Student Seminar: Video, Music, and Rockets: An EE’s Journey through the Space and Satellite Industry

Event Details

Monday, October 25, 2021

12:30pm - 1:20pm

Van Leer Building, Room C241

For More Information


Mary Ann Weitnauer

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Event Details

Date: Monday, October 25, 2021

Time: 12:30pm-1:20pm

Location: Van Leer C241

Speaker: Carmel Ortiz

Speaker’s Title: VP, Systems Innovation

Speaker’s Affiliation: Intelsat (McLean, Virginia)

Seminar Title: Video, Music, and Rockets: An EE’s Journey through the Space and Satellite Industry

Abstract of Talk: My 30+ year career in the Space and Satellite industry is a collage of experiences, working for companies large and small, public and private, covering a wide range of domains and technologies. From the early days of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) networks and compressed digital video, to the launch of digital audio radio service, to today’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband networks, the only thing constant about the Space and Satellite Industry is change. Innovation is everywhere, and constant. 

Innovating in space and satellite technologies is exciting, but for the engineering workforce at the center of that innovation, there is a need for balance between personal and professional lives. Maintaining balance is critical to our long-term well-being, but it requires constant vigilance, and what works at one phase of our life may need to be adjusted as our careers and family or social structures change. I will share my insights, successes, and missteps in the area of work-life balance.

The Space and Satellite industry is rich and diverse, with a wide range of opportunities for ECE students and graduates across many domain areas. We will discuss some of the most exciting areas and where there is greatest demand for ECE skills, in the industry at large and at Intelsat specifically.   

Biographical Sketch of the Speaker: Carmel Ortiz has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications, satellite, and digital media industries. In her current role as Vice President of Systems Innovation at Intelsat, Carmel is responsible for the ideation, design, and development of large breakthrough technology initiatives that will reshape Intelsat’s offerings and customer experience. Prior to joining Intelsat in May of 2020, Carmel was the Vice President/Chief Systems Engineer of OneWeb, where she was responsible for the overall system engineering, design, and performance of the low-earth orbit (LEO) broadband communication system. Prior to OneWeb, Carmel co-founded Skjei Telecom, a satellite communications engineering consulting firm serving large commercial and federal government clients. Earlier in her career, Carmel held various engineering positions at GTE Corporation, GTE Spacenet, and GE Americom. She is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and worked as a co-op student at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).

Last revised September 28, 2021