17. Chille (AJ) Bergstorm
Average Post Engagement:
What I use Linkedin for:
Companies post about their latest, coolest things. They want to attract the brightest talent & people who will be excited & proud to work for them. They don’t post about the same device or technology that they’ve always used. They like to brag, to say, ‘We are using artificial intelligence to diagnose heart murmurs.’ like the innovative company Eko or ‘We are a company that focuses only on supersonic jets.’ Like the awesome company Hermeus. So you get a good idea about which companies are doing what with new technology & what’s important to them. That’s exciting. That keeps me up to date & helps me know what experts to go to when I have a specific engineering question or need help with something.
For example, right now, I’m the lead on secondary propulsion on MIT’s Hyperloop III team. Our team is a finalist in Elon Musk’s Boring Company’s Not-a-Boring competition. We beat out almost 400 other competitors to be in the top 12. But we need half a million dollars to build what we designed. With my LinkedIn contacts, I can reach out to these super cool people I follow – people that I engage with regularly – to tell them about our design, why it might be of interest to their company, & ask if they’d sponsor us.
Number of Followers:
Who am I:
When I was eight years old, I met Buzz Aldrin & he asked if I knew that I couldn’t go to space because of my heart defects & because every heart beat was dependent on my pacemaker. I wanted to be an aerospace engineer, not an astronaut, so the question didn’t hurt me as much as it made me think. Buzz was designing a rover for Mars & I was thinking about how long it would take an astronaut to get to Mars. I thought of the best athletes like Usain Bolt & how being in microgravity for such a long trip lowers your heart rate. For someone as healthy as an Olympic gold medal sprinter, his resting heart rate is so low that space would be not be survivable. I thought Buzz Aldrin’s thinking was old-fashioned because it seemed obvious to me that my broken & repaired heart, hooked up to a battery, was better than a heart that had no back-up at all. This thinking led me to creating my theory – that someday, disabilities may be hyper-abilities in space.
I was named the Space Futurist with MIT Media Lab’s Space Initiative & invited to present my research at MIT’s Space Week during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo in 2019. People laughed at my theory. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t pay attention! In 2021, the European Space Agency announced that they are actively seeking disabled astronauts. It feels good to influence the future.
What I do:
I’m a student but very much enjoy being a consultant to companies. I don’t compartmentalize my thoughts. For me, I can see how it’s possible to use microgravity to manufacture better energy storage to be used in medical devices. I can see how air-compressed launches could make the hyperloop better & think that roller coaster companies & theme parks would benefit most from this technology.
What 13 year old wouldn’t love to have an astronaut as their aerospace engineering professor at school while getting emails from NASA & waking up knowing that I get to design for the International Space Station that day to work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – which I was introduced to by my mentor, Dr. Danielle Wood. I’m living the dream & my asynchronous brain development is my super power.
Why you should follow me on Linkedin:
I’m always learning. I represent diversity & intersectionality- my disability is constantly influencing my engineering design. My thinking makes a difference & it’s not always aerospace or life-saving medical devices or hyperloop technology or inflatable 3D printed habitats for Mars – it’s also roller coasters & marvel movies & trying out the latest tech gear & video games. I’m a great addition to any university bar trivia team & know every Beatles lyric, too. But the truth is that in space – It’s not about gravity & four walls holding up a ceiling like in traditional design. We, as a planet, get to start fresh & truly start over in our design approach completely. We have a chance to be inclusive. We have an opportunity to be & do good. I strongly believe that we shouldn’t go to space unless it’s to improve life here on earth. Let’s do that together!
Who I follow on Linkedin:
Chille’s Favorite Post
This is a post I made when I learned I would have the opportunity to study under my hero at MIT. It went viral with 100,000 views. She’s the coolest person on planet earth.