Channah Vogel: ‘Allow yourself to make mistakes, learn from them and go for it’

For International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2024 on February 11th, we asked four female professionals within SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research about their current space- or science mission, their contribution to the project, their drive and their advice to women and girls with pursuing dreams in science, and its technology & engineering. This is part 4.

Channah Vogel, Electronical Design Engineer
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

What mission or project are you working on?
“The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna LISA, the space-borne gravitational wave mission in ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme. By being space-borne, the interferometer arms can be much larger than the size of the Earth. LISA will be sensitive to gravitational waves with wavelengths between roughly one million and one billion kilometers.”

What is your role and your contribution?
LISA consists of three satellites, between which laser beams bridge the distance between them. The laser beams have to be controlled in very small precise steps, and we have to read out the photodiode on which the laser beam then falls. To do this, we design electronics. As an electronics design engineer, I help devise electronic design solutions. I also identify and order components that are suitable and approved for use within the design, within the system requirements and within the requirements of space.

What do you like about your work?
I get to puzzle out hardwaresolutions that will soon go to space to help establish new science. I also enjoy the fact that I continue to grow, and that I have learned that you only truly grow when you also dare to make mistakes.

What would you like to say to girls and women with ambitions to work in science?
Don’t be discouraged by thinking you are not good enough for this. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. And go for it!”