STEMM Idol: Molly Wakeling

A Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force spoke to students on Tuesday, February 16 as part of the STEMM Idol Speaker Series.

Molly Wakeling is also a physicist and graduate student working on her Master’s degree in nuclear engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).

“I have always loved science,” Wakeling shared. “What I love about science is that there is still so much to know but we can do the experiments to figure it out. I love that there is a lot of beauty in it as well.”

Wakeling is a native of Spokane, Washington and graduated Cum Lade from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics. While working on her undergraduate degree, Wakeling spent three summers as an intern at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California doing nuclear physics experiments.

“It’s challenging but if I wouldn’t do something as challenging, it wouldn’t be as fun,” Wakeling told the students.

After graduating from AFIT in March, Wakeling plans to be a LADAR (laser radar) research scientist.

“I’ve been involved with a lot of nuclear physics the past couple years so I’m looking forward to exploring a new area of physics and working on a technology that benefits the military.”

Students can view Wakeling's presentation here.

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at