Cockrell School alumna Melanie Weber (B.S. ASE 2004) was one of four UT Austin alumni selected to receive the 2020 Outstanding Young Texas Exes Award. The prestigious award, first initiated in 1979, recognizes Texas Exes age 39 and younger who have made significant achievements in their careers and service to the university.

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In 2019, Weber became the first woman and first Hispanic in the history of human spaceflight to lead a launch pad team on the day of launch. Currently, she oversees crew and cargo accommodations for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, working to ensure the safety of astronauts. She has been recognized for her efforts with a NASA Silver Snoopy Award and was recently granted a U.S. patent for innovative seats that provide safety and comfort to the Starliner crew.

Weber is passionate about encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM fields. She was featured in an episode of the Science Channel’s “Impossible Engineering” where she described the Starliner’s landing airbag system and was an integral part in unveiling Boeing’s spacesuit on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Award recipients will be honored in a virtual event held on Oct. 27 at 6 PM. The event will feature Texas Exes board president Bob Estrada, a panel discussion with the award recipients and some of the Texas Exes’ most engaged students, and recognition of each honorees’ accomplishments.