Shu-Yu Lin

  • Space Exploration Initiative

Shu-Yu (Michelle) Lin is a first-year PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology housed in the Human Systems Lab and the Media Lab. Their research is in space architecture, specifically aiming to understand the human experience in isolate, confined, and extreme environments and how to design cognitively ergonomic architecture. Currently, they are focused on designing a wearable system to study fluidity of instinctive movements in microgravity through the Space Exploration Initiative.

Their undergraduate degrees were in Aerospace Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado Boulder, summa cum laude, with honors. Since 2018, they have been a researcher at the Bioastronautics Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Allison Anderson and Dr. David Klaus. They are an author of Development of alternative reality technologies for spacecraft habitat design evaluation and Side-by-Side Comparison of Human Perception and Performance using Augmented, Hybrid, and Virtual Reality for their work implementing an interactive augmented reality environment for habitat design evaluation. 

Professionally, Michelle has worked at SpaceX on the Crew Dragon Mechanisms team as a 2019 Brooke Owens Fellow, supporting Demo-2, IFA, and Crew-1 missions. They worked at Blue Origin on the Advanced Development Program as a 2020 Matthew Isakowitz Fellow on futuristic space architecture concept designs.

As a fierce advocate for gender minority empowerment in engineering, Michelle founded the CU Chapter of WoAA (the Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics), which fosters a supportive community through career development. As a recognition of their involvement, they were awarded the 2019 Women in Aerospace Scholarship for promising young women who will be the leaders of the next generation. As a way to push themself out of their comfort zone, Michelle competed in the Miss Colorado USA pageant with the platform of education equity for women in STEM, and was the first ever contestant to be sponsored by SWE (Society of Women Engineers). Half a year later, they gave the Keynote at SWE’s WE Local Conference in Salt Lake City about intersectionality and finding your voice in engineering. Most recently, they were recognized as a 2020 AIAA 20 Twenties for their leadership, research, and commitment to the community. At MIT, they continue to engage in the community through teaching bioastronautics for CASCADE and SPLASH through the MIT Educational Studies Program.