Dr. Newman joined the MIT faculty in 1993 after stints at the Kennedy Space Center and the NASA Ames Research Center. She specializes in investigating astronaut performance across the spectrum of gravity. Her research interests include aerospace biomedical engineering, control, dynamics, and biomechanics, life sciences, and human factors engineering.
She is currently studying and modelling the astounding effects of bone loss in reduced gravity environments, which mimic osteoporosis and the effects of aging at normal Earth gravity. Her technology development efforts include miniturized electronics, data acquisition, load sensors, and wearable computers.
She was Principal Investigator for the Dynamic Load Sensors (DLS) experiment that measured astronaut-induced disturbances of the microgravity environment - a space flight experiment that flew on Shuttle Mission STS-62. The latest manifestation, the Enhanced Dynamic Load Sensors experiment, flew on board the Russian Mir space station from 1996 through 1998. Data are helping NASA verify and update design requirements for the International Space Station. Dr. Newman was a Co-Investigator on the Mental Workload and Performance Experiment (MWPE) that flew to space on STS-42 to measure astronaut mental workload and fine motor control in microgravity. She is an expert in the areas of human movement in low gravity and has also made novel contributions in physics-based modeling of astronaut EVA activities.
Dr. Newman earned her BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1986, dual MS degrees from MIT in 1989 in Aeronautics and Astrnautics and Technology and Policy, and a Ph.D. from MIT in Aerospace Biomedical Engineering.