Laser Focused Episode 5 – The Science of Innovation

by | Jun 6, 2022 | Podcast

Welcome to another week of Laser Focused! On this week’s episode, The Science of Innovation, I speak to senior project engineer at Aerospace Corporation and former NASA engineer, Kenneth Harris II.

Kenneth is the epitome of a leader and innovator with a focus on changing the world for the better. At an age where many of us are trying to figure out our future, Kenneth was laying the foundation for his career in the aerospace industry.

At the tender age of 16, Kenneth landed a job at NASA and would go on to work on several subsequent satellite missions.

He was the youngest African America to lead and perform integration efforts on James Webb space telescope and was recognized in 2020 by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s youngest and most impactful individuals in the field of science.

On this week’s episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Kenneth about his meteoric rise in the space industry, including what it was like working with NASA while completing high school.

Despite his success, Kenneth opens up about his fear of failure, including tips on dealing with and overcoming that fear, and why it’s important for young professionals to view failure as another steppingstone on their journey to success.

We also dive into some of the more technical aspects of his work on the James Webb Space Telescope, specifically the integration of major subsystems and detecting the light from stars billions of light years away.

He also shares some of his experiences working with international space agencies, including the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Of course, we also chat about the use of 3D printing on the International Space Station and the potential uses for additive manufacturing on the Lunar surface, Mars, and beyond.

And finally, Kenneth delves into his relationship with his father and how it created a passion for mentorship that sees him traveling across the country to engage with students on topics related to STEM.

So once again, I invite you to join me, sit back and enjoy this incredible and inspiring episode of Laser Focused.

Laser Focused can be found on all the major streaming apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. Learn more about Laser Focused by visiting

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About the Author

Renette Youssef

Chief Marketing Officer

Renette Youssef is the Chief Marketing Officer at Velo3D and joined in October 2020. She is responsible for all aspects of Velo3D's marketing efforts including strategy, customer communication, demand generation, product marketing and corporate communication. Renette has managed marketing organizations in Australia, Europe, and Silicon Valley.