Education & Certifications

  • MSEE, University of Houston

  • BS Physics, Northern Arizona University

  • iNARTE certified EMC Engineer

Job Experience

Ford Motor Company (May 2016 - Present)

Senior EMC engineer. Responsible for ensuring components are tested properly as well as signing off vehicle level EMC requirements.

Northrop Grumman Corporation (Feb 2015 - March 2016)

Senior EMC engineer in the Product Quality testing lab.

Sierra Nevada Corporation (Feb 2014 - Sept 2014)

Lead EMC Engineer for the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Coordinating with design teams to ensure the best possible electromagnetic compatibility and lightning protection. 

NASA Johnson Space Center for L-3 Communications (2009-2014)

Worked for the pyrotechnic and power systems groups before joining the EMC group full-time in 2011. Lead EMC engineer for NASA oversight of the European Service Module for the Orion project. 

Northrop Grumman (2001 - 2008)

Worked on signal processing algorithms for radar data for several years. Later transferred to work on combat wireless network systems and was made a group lead.

Technical Publications

JSC-66496 “NASA Standard Initiator (NSI) Radio Frequency (RF) and Lightning Sensitivity Test Report.” Karen Burnham, Robert C. Scully, John D. Norgard. February, 2013.

“NASA Standard Initiator Susceptibility to UHF and S-Band Radio Frequency Power and Lightning Strikes.” Karen Burnham, Robert C. Scully, John D. Norgard. Proceedings of 2013 EMC Symposium in Denver, CO.

JSC-66637 “Analysis of NASA Standard Initiator (NSI) Radio Frequency (RF) Susceptibility in a C-17 Electromagnetic Environment for the Capsule Parachute Assembly System (CPAS) Drop Tests.” Karen Burnham, Robert C. Scully. October, 2013.

JSC-66640 “Induced Currents and Voltages from Indirect Lightning Strikes in Cable Harness Suspended Above Composite Panel.” Karen Burnham. October 2013.

“Pyrotechnic Systems in Aerospace Applications,” Karen Burnham. Chapter 6 in Handbook of Aerospace Electromagnetic Compatibility, ed. Dr. Reinaldo J. Perez. IEEE/Wiley Press (2018).


For more information on any of the above please contact me at Karen.Burnham [at] or view my LinkedIn profile