Catherine Erkorkmaz received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Engineering Science (Aerospace Option) from the University of Toronto in 2001. During her degree she completed a 13-month work term at DOFASCO in Hamilton, Ontario as a member of Tin Mill Maintenance Engineering Team.
Desiring to escape winters in Ontario, Catherine joined the lab in 2001 to complete her M.A.Sc. degree under the supervision of Drs. Gary Schajer and Sheldon Green (Dept of Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Roland Stull (Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences). Her research examined the feasibility of building a buoy system for deployment in the North Pacific Ocean, to serve as a platform for launching small weather rockets, called rocketsondes. The data from these rocketsondes would be transmitted to Canadian and international meteorological centres to improve short and medium-term weather forecasting. Catherine’s work involved the preliminary design and prototype testing of the weather rocketsondes, and the required control system for launching them from an ocean buoy under typical weather and wave conditions.
After finishing her Master’s degree in 2003, Catherine completed a one year contract at the European Space Agency Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. She worked as an Assistant Systems Engineer in the Concurrent Design Facility (CDF), participating in feasibility studies ranging from a human lunar base concept, to Martian robotic sample return, to an electric propulsion stage for a launch vehicle. She also supported the maintenance and development of the CDF core engineering data models and software infrastructure.
Catherine returned to Canada in October 2004, and joined the Systems Design Engineering Department at MDA in Brampton, Ontario. As a member of the Advanced Systems Group, she supports Business Development and R&D activities, and has worked on projects for the Canadian Space Agency, NASA, the European Space Agency, and commercial customers.