Falling into her profession by chance, Margaret A. Klee has worked as a software engineer at Leidos Innovations since 2016, which provides scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services. Leidos works extensively with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Intelligence Community, including the NSA, as well as other U.S. government civil agencies and selected commercial markets. Prior to this role, Ms. Klee began her career as a programmer at Goodyear Atomic Corporation in Piketon, Ohio, in 1982, remaining in this position for two years before moving up the ranks to software engineer from 1984 to 1985. She then transferred to General Dynamics Corporation in Fort Worth, Texas, from 1985 to 1987, also serving as senior software engineer from 1987 to 1991, and later the Lockheed Martin Corporation from 1991 to 2016.
During her career, Ms. Klee led a team that is responsible for the software of two facilities on the International Space Station. One of the projects that she has worked on is the human research facility, while working for Lockheed Martin and Leidos, supporting the NASA Johnson Space Center. The human research facility is complement of equipment that is used to perform human research in space. There is an ultrasound on orbit the team maintains by laptops. This project has been ongoing since 2001.
Before establishing her professional career, Ms. Klee pursued a formal education at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1982. She then matriculated at the University of Houston–Clear Lake, where she received a Master of Science in 1994. She went on to attain a Master of Business Administration from the Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University in Houston in 2001. After graduating with these academic honors, Ms. Klee founded a hand analysis business called the Institute of Hand Analysis, with which her main focus is on finger prints and the information they give a person. She also makes jewelry, which she sells on her website.
To keep up with trends in her field, Ms. Klee maintains involvement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), as well as the IEEE Computer Society. She has also been involved in dog rescue for five years. In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Silver Snoopy Award by NASA in 1999, an award which is given to only 1% of the population. Being nominated has to come from either management or from an astronaut. She never knew who nominated her, but believes she was nominated by an astronaut, which makes it even more important and special to her. In the next five years, Ms. Klee hopes for continued professional growth or possibly retiring to pursue her other areas of interest.
Ms. Klee has many people to thank for her successful professional journey. The first is Charlie Mark, who was a great mentor. They were assigned to the same project and spent a year on site at a vendor helping them develop a simulator for a plant that was being built. Another mentor was Brant Cooperstock, who very supportive. Mr. Cooperstock was a very senior person who taught her how to do things the right way. The last was Ann Sherman, who worked for General Dynamics and was responsible for bringing Ms. Klee to Texas. The factors or attributes that Ms. Klee feel have played a role in her success is that she keeps her eyes and ears open for opportunities and takes them when she can. She is not afraid to take chances, and has always gone with the flow. What she has learned over the course of her career that has most benefited her in her professional growth is that teamwork is very important. She thinks the days of superheroes and doing it all yourself is over.