(March 29, 2021) AIAA Member Spotlight on Ms. Michelle Rouch

AIAA Associate Fellow
Technical advisor for major weapon systems produced at Raytheon
Chair for AIAA Tucson-Section
Member of SAT IOC
Renowned Aerospace Artist
When you think of the Apollo 15 mission and reading the depth of command module pilot Astronaut Al Worden poetry, one can understand the emotions of someone who has vast experience in deep space.
The author Al Worden with Francis French, and illustrator Michelle Rouch together created the children’s book, “Astronaut Al Travels to the Moon.” The author spent time looking for an illustrator and Michelle Rouch was happy to accept the challenge. The spark of the project all started during a fundraising event for Time in Cosmology, led by Czarina Salido who featured guitarist Gabriel Ayala, space artists Simon Kregar and Michelle Rouch with Emcee Geoff Notkin on March 6, 2018. At the end of the event while Michelle Rouch was tearing down her art display, Francis French had mentioned that Al Worden is looking for an illustrator for his children’s book, and the rest is history. The hardest part of the project was finding a publisher. The project continued with closed loop communication between Al Worden, Francis French and Michelle Rouch with the request in creating 13 unique illustrations that depicted the essence of the poem. A publisher was secured in mid-2020 and released the book on March 15, 2021 during CiLive in Des Moines, Iowa.
Children’s books have a profound effect on society. The unique perspective of Al Worden’s experience along with the colorful illustrations hopes to influence kids at an early age to consider a career path in the technical and scientific fields.  More details of “Astronaut Al Travels to the Moon” are available at www.astronautal.com and the illustrations can be viewed at rouch.com.  About the Illustrator: Michelle Rouch grew up in Dayton, OH and the strong aerospace history influenced her future. But it was her brother that influenced her to become an engineer, like him. Michelle Rouch is now a Senior Engineer with over 30 years of experience working for DoD, and serves as technical advisor for major weapon systems produced at Raytheon, covering product lines for all branches of the military. She is the Chair for AIAA Tucson-Section, member of SAT IOC, and recently earned her AIAA Associate Fellowship. Michelle Rouch is also a self-taught artist with over 40 years of experience. She continues to aim high to revolutionize the technical world with a contemporary artistic touch. She wants to capture the emotions of people living and thriving in an aerospace world on Earth and beyond, and create more illustrations for children’s books.