Amy Lo, Ph.D.

  • Systems Engineer, Observatory Alignment Thread Lead
  • Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

Amy Lo is the Observatory Alignment Thread Lead on the James Webb Space Telescope program and is part of the JWST System Engineering organization. In this role, she leads the JWST alignments team to oversee all aspects of observatory alignment. Dr. Lo and her team work hands on during the testing and integration phase of JWST to ensure the various observatory elements are positioned correctly relative to each other.
Dr. Lo also supports new mission development for Science and Weather Systems in the Space Systems organization of NGAS. She has led capture activities for new mission, and developed mission concepts and proposals for astrophysical and planetary exploration missions. In addition, she is interested in technology development. One of her on-going projects is the development of the New Worlds Observer mission concept, which uses a “Starshade” to occult nearby stars and enable the detection of Earth-like planets. Dr. Lo has supported a wide variety of other technology and mission concept development, including solar electric propulsion mission concepts, and a large deployable Fresnel lens concept. She has also served as technical lead and proposal manager for several NASA Discovery and Explorer-class mission proposals.
Dr. Lo jointed Northrop Grumman in 2005, and has since been involved in a variety of optical simulation projects involving large deployables. Her expertise includes mathematical simulations, mission architecture development, proposal development, and optical system engineering.
Dr. Lo earned her Bachelor’s degree in Physics at Brown University in Providence, R.I., and her Ph. D. in Astrophysics from UCLA; her doctoral thesis was on the Cosmic Microwave Background. She is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is the Chairperson for the AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee, and is active in the Awards and Educational subcommittees. She was named Asian American Engineer of the Year in 2011. Dr. Lo has more than 20 technical publications in the subjects of Astrophysics and Exoplanet Detection Technology.