A Turkish Woman’s Touch To NASA

Turkish women are beginning to take active roles in key projects of NASA, where 5,000 people work

Eren Özmen

Starting from scratch, she created great wealth. She acquired the American company where she worked. She became a partner in the first Turkish aircraft project!

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), based in Sparks, Nevada, in the U.S., is one of the fastest growing companies in the world in the space and aviation sectors. SNC is putting its signature on vital projects and cooperating on key works.

A short time ago, the US National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) chose Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems to receive a multi-year contract to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal services for the International Space Station (ISS).

SNC has become a partner of Turkey’s first national passenger jet project, or TRJet. The person behind the success of SNC in the space and aeronautics field is Eren Özmen.

Founder and president of SNC, Mrs. Özmen is one of the most important women in the Turkish aviation industry. Mrs. Özmen has become one of the most influential business women in the U.S.

She started her business career from scratch and is one of 50 women in the U.S. who have created enormous wealth. Forbes Magazine, one of the world’s leading business publications, in 2015 listed Mrs. Özmen 19th among the 50 richest self-made women in America. The magazine said she had a personal wealth of $900 million. The Forbes list includes only self-made women millionaires who have lived in the U.S. for many years. Women who inherited their wealth were excluded from the rankings. Mrs. Özmen, who heads Sierra Nevada Corp., with her husband, Fatih Özmen, was the only Turk in the list.

Mrs. Eren, who has an MBA in business administration, from the University of Nevada, began her career at SNC, which she and her husband acquired in 1993. In addition to manufacturing advanced rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components, market, SNC is building the “Dream Chaser,” a space ship that can reach space and land at normal airports. With annual sales of $1.5 Billion, SNC recently acquired ‘328 Support Services GmbH’ thus gaining control over the rights of the Dornier 328 aircraft. The Özmen couple also have a space and aeronautics company in Turkey that they founded.

She will carry out business with NASA

Under Mrs Özmen’s leadership SNC Space Systems was selected by the US National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) as a contractor to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal services for the International Space Station (ISS).

With SNC ‘s choice for NASA's CRS2 program, SNC will provide until 2024 space ships the ability to provide cargo delivery 'return and disposal systems and capability of landing. Here is how Mrs. Özmen described her feelings to SNC's selection:

"We are extremely proud of the trust in SNC in such a contest. I look forward to the time we will be able to show the entire world the great, successful capabilities of the Dream Chaser space ship. SNC's winning of this contract is for all of us the American dream come true."

An influential partner in the in the Turkish “National Airplane” project.

Mrs. Özmen’s SNC is also a partner in the “National Airplane” project, launched in 2015. SNC, working closely with Turkey’s Ministry of Transportation, aims to make modifications on existing "TRJ328-310 Jet," and the turboprop version "TRJ328-150 TP" of the D328 passenger plane and sell the new planes on international markets.

SNC's subsidiaries 328 Support Services GmbH, 3S Certification LLC ve 3S Engineering LLC firms will support its efforts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is supporting SNC to build a plant in Turkey to produce the 21G passenger plane.

The most important resource of Turkey is human capital

Mrs. Özmen noted that the project is a part of the natural progress of SNC and its subsidiaries with their years of comprehensive experience in aircraft design modification, and its innovative approach and agility in obtaining value for its customers:

"Turkey’s most important capital is its human resources. The country is lucky to have quality university graduates and many determined, young intelligent students. Our desire is that this potential is brought up to its highest levels, and with its effects create global business opportunities for present and future generations.

The Turks of America magazine, published in the U.S., identified Mrs. Özmen as one of the “50 most influential Turks living in America, a list that includes businessmen, artists, scientists, academicians, professional managers, and athletes. The list includes Dr. Mehmet Öz, Muhtar Kent, Chairman of Coca-Cola, Hikmet Ersek, Chief Executive Officer of Western Union, and Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani, and SNC’s Chairman Eren Özmen and her husband, Fatih Özmen, president of SNC.

Feryal Özel

In the same list as Einstein and Nash… Joined the Hubble team…One of the world’s most intelligent women.

Professor Feryal Özel, an astrophysicist, has been shown as one of the world’s most intelligent women.

In 2003, her name was placed among the 20 scientists and scholars in the “Big Ideas” list, along with Nobel Prize Win nAlbert Einstein and John Nash. As a young research scientist, she participated in many NASA special projects.

Professor Özel has carried out studies on black holes, neutron stars and Einstein’s theory of relativity. Her studies are based on theoretical physics and space observation. She has taken part in many projects, but is among the top astrophysicists in the world. She is a professor of astronomy and physics at University of Arizona.

After graduating from Üsküdar American College in Istanbul, she received a scholarship, and obtained two undergraduate degrees from Columbia University in physics and mathematical engineering, graduating with high honors.

She completed her Ph.D and post doctorate studies in the U.S. She was the first scientist to carry out quantum calculations of the high magnetic fields of neutron stars. Studying a big black hole in our galaxy, the Milky Way, she made certain mathematical calculations and predictions that were later proven through telescopic observation.

As a 26 year-old, her research was published and she became one of the most successful scientists in America and was named a member of the “Great Ideas” NASA presented her with the Hubble Award and she became the first Turk to be named to the Hubble Team. In 2013, the American Physical Society presented her Maria Goeppert Mayer award for her work in the field of astrophysics. In 2010, Harvard University named her the most successful astrophysicist. She was chosen a member of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute in 2012 and the Berkeley Miller Institute in 2014. She is also a member of the Turkish Science Academy.

Neva Çiftçioğlu

Discovered nanobacteria… She was named a candidate for the Nobel Prize. She is studying “life” on Mars.

Associate Professor Neva Çiftçioğlu Banes is one of the most important Turkish women in the world of science. After receiving a B.S. in biology from Hacettepe University, she completed her masters and doctoral degrees at Ankara University Medical School.

She went as doctoral student in biotechnology to Finland’s Kuopio University. There with Dr. Olavi Kajander discovered the “nanobacteria”, which produces calcification (arthritis) and plaque formation in the arteries.

The discovery led to her being nominated for the Nobel Prize. After this, Dr. Çiftçioğlu Banes got a job offer from NASA’s Johnson Space Center to work on the “Life on Mars” and “Reasons for the development of kidney stones in environments where there is no gravity” research projects.

As a senior NASA research scientist, Dr. Çiftçioğlu is carrying out studies measuring the durability of living matter in a space environment.