2024 Doctoral Ceremony

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2024
Time: 4:00-5:15 p.m. (doors open at 3:30 p.m.)
Location: Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA

Reception to follow at the Penn Museum from 5:15-6:45 p.m

Ceremony Livestream


Note: This livestream will begin at 3:00 p.m. on May 16, 2024. If you are unable to access Vimeo, a recording of this event will be made available in the days following the ceremony.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Michelle Parker (GEN’93, GR’00)

Dr. Michelle Parker is vice president for the Space Mission Systems organization within Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS). She is responsible for program
execution, strategic direction, and profit and loss for a portfolio that includes government and commercial satellites, space systems architecture, national security space programs, ground systems, and subsidiaries Millennium Space Systems and Spectrolab.

Dr. Parker’s experience leading high-profile space programs spans several decades, with more than 25 years serving in roles of increasing responsibility within Boeing. Prior to her current role, she served as vice president and deputy general manager for the Space & Launch division, where she oversaw the successful Operational Flight Test of the CST-100 Starliner and delivery of the Boeing-built Space Launch System that powered NASA’s Artemis I mission. She previously served as the Space & Launch chief engineer, providing technical leadership for the Space & Launch portfolio. Earlier in her career, she led the Satellite Development Center (SDC), the world’s largest satellite manufacturing facility that has produced more than 300 satellites to date.

Throughout her career, Dr. Parker has held leadership, engineering, strategy and execution roles for several organizations across Boeing, including: BDS Engineering’s System Engineering, Integration and Test (SEIT); Deputy Director of National Space Communications Programs (NSCP); Flight and Vehicle Technology for Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T); and Enterprise Technology Strategy leader over the areas of aerodynamics, propulsion, guidance, navigation and control, and computational science. She began her career in the Thermophysics Department of Boeing Satellite Systems in 1995.

Dr. Parker is a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University, as well as a master’s degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctorate was earned as a Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellow while at Boeing. She is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s general management program.

Connect and Celebrate With Us!

Penn Engineering encourages our graduates and their families to post on social media using #PennEngineeringProud on Instagram and Twitter (there is also a webform for participation if attendees are not on social media) so that we can include your photos and messages in our celebrations. Participants can also view our social media wall.

Helpful Links:
Further Information:

Please direct general ceremony questions to the Dean’s Office at seasdean@seas.upenn.edu.