As a young girl, Kelly FitzGerald dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Her bedroom was space-themed, she read anything she could find on NASA history and at fourteen years old she successfully commanded a mission at U.S. space camp that required landing a shuttle.
“It gave me a really strong foundation in math and science, and kind of started that fire,” Kelly said about her childhood quest to become an astronaut. That foundation in math and science would be the building blocks for the coding, programming and hacking skills that Kelly now uses as a product security architect for UTC.
She is passionate about using her abilities to help inspire the next generation of female coders. Kelly volunteers as an ethical hacking teacher for Girls Who Code — a nonprofit organization that is committed to developing the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States.
Her course teaches girls how to hack their own video games with techniques like memory corruption and settings modification. The girls dive into the backend of the game and practice their coding skills to help them achieve success.
“My dream for the future of engineering contains men, women, minorities and non-minorities; everybody who has the gifts and knowledge will be bringing something to the table. All of us working together to create solutions and solve problems that we never thought we could solve before,” Kelly said.
Engineers at UTC pave the way for future innovation. During Engineers Week, we are honored to showcase those who go above and beyond and who are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders.
United Technologies is committed to supporting organizations that help build a brighter future in engineering. To learn more about UTC’s partnership with organizations like Girls Who Code, click here.