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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    Meet the 2013-2014 Scholarship and Award Winners

    AIAA Student Programs

    The AIAA Foundation's undergraduate scholarship program offers scholarships each year to college sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Recipients can apply to renew their scholarship annually until they graduate. Through its annual graduate scholarship program, the AIAA Foundation presents awards to graduate students doing excellent research in the air and space sciences.


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    David and Catherine Thompson Scholarship
    Nicolas Spoentgen, Purdue University

    Nicolas-SpoentgenNicolas Spoentgen was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana. He will be entering his senior year in aeronautical engineering at Purdue University with a concentration in design and aerodynamics. During the past semester, Nicolas studied abroad at the Ecole Supérieure des Techniques Aéronautiques et de Construction Automobile (ESTACA) in Paris, France. He plans on attending graduate school immediately following his undergraduate studies with a potential focus on supersonic flight.


    Leatrice Pendray Scholarship
    Jacqueline Thomas, University of California, Irvine

    Jacqueline-ThomasI have been a member of AIAA since my freshman year in college when I joined UC Irvine’s Design, Build, Fly team. I am a first generation college student and the only person in my family to pursue an engineering degree. Design, Build, Fly was the competition that inspired me to become an Aerospace Engineer. During my three years at UCI, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA while actively participating in Design, Build, Fly, starting and managing a Human Powered Airplane project, and obtaining a private pilot’s license. I plan to go to graduate school in Aerospace Engineering and obtain a PhD in order to eventually teach at the university level.


    Orville and Wilbur Wright Scholarship
    Jaime Katzer, University of Washington

    Jaime-KatzerJaime Katzer is a Senior in the Aeronautics & Astronautics department at the University of Washington (UW) and has had a passion for airplanes since high school. At the UW, Jaime works as a student manager at the Kirsten Wind Tunnel and volunteers her time as the UW AIAA Senior President in the department. She helps organize professional networking events for undergraduates, manages the underclassmen mentoring program, and participates in K-12 outreach programs to promote engineering. She is also involved on campus as a member of the Women in Science and Engineering advisory board, helping organize events to mentor current and prospective engineering students. Beyond academic and work environments, Jaime loves to dancing, photography, and playing the guitar. She is thrilled to have received this scholarship, which motivates her to continue working hard throughout her college and professional experiences.


    Orville and Wilbur Wright Scholarship
    Braden Hancock, Brigham Young University

    Braden-HancockBraden is a junior in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Brigham Young University. His interest in aeronautics stemmed from visiting the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a child, where he later had the opportunity to work as a co-op for four summers developing design methods for turbine airfoils. His research with the Air Force resulted in a pending U.S. patent, and a Best Paper award at the 2013 AIAA Foundation International Student Conference. Other research into design methodology at BYU has led to three peer-reviewed journal articles. After graduation, Braden will earn a PhD and return to academia to mentor the next generation of engineers.


    Orville and Wilbur Wright Scholarship
    Brookelynn Russey, Texas A&M University

    Brookelynn-RusseyBrookelynn Russey is a senior at Texas A&M University majoring in Aerospace Engineering with minors in Economics and Math. She enjoys being involved with many organizations including the university’s chapters of AIAA, SWE, the SAE Aero Design Team, and Aggie Aerospace Women in Engineering (AAWE), which she helped found in 2012. She is also involved with undergraduate research and hopes to pursue graduate school.



    Liquid Propulsion TC Scholarship
    Arth Pande, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    Arth-PandeI am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In the two short years that I have spent here, with the knowledge and industry experience I have gained, I have been reassured time and again that my passion truly does lie in Aviation. I was born in Lucknow, India and I made the journey to the United States in 2011 after graduating from high school with an International Baccalaureate Diploma from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai, India


    Space Transportation TC Scholarship
    Callie Sher, Syracuse University

    Callie-SherI attend Syracuse University with a major in mechanical engineering and a minor in mathematics and the Spanish language. I am currently involved in many clubs and activities on campus: ASME (president), Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority (member), AIAA, SWE, SME, Hillel, and Engineers Without Borders. I invented a “wide right-hand turn signal for trucks,” because it was a device that would help the safety of the community. This invention awarded me the honor of being selected as the Invention Representative for the The L.C. Smith College of Engineering, and the University is using my photograph to promote forward-thinking innovations on its streetlight banners throughout Syracuse. This summer I am studying low temperature combustion using direct injection on a diesel fuel engine at Argonne National Laboratory. Overall, I truly love the engineering workforce and am motivated to be a leader and make an impact in this field.


    Dr. James Rankin Digital Avionics Scholarship
    Miles Bengtson, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach

    Miles-BengtsonMiles Bengtson is a sophomore studying Engineering Physics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. After graduating, he plans to work in the Commercial Space industry in order to make space accessible to the general public. Miles has worked on research projects in autonomous systems, nanosatellite design, and 3D stereoscopic vision systems. He is originally from Davidson, North Carolina.



    Dr. Amy R. Pritchett Digital Avionics Scholarship
    Caleb Boe, Iowa State University

    Caleb-BoeCaleb Boe from Cottage Grove, MN is a rising junior in aerospace engineering at Iowa State University. After graduating from Iowa State, he hopes to continue working toward a Master’s Degree at another university. When he’s not studying, Caleb enjoys flying model rockets and downhill skiing.


    Ellis F. Hitt Digital Avionics Scholarship
    Michael Roznick, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott

    Michael-RoznickMichael Roznick is a Sophomore Honors student in Aerospace Engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Prescott, AZ. Michael earned his private helicopter license in high school and enjoys flying whenever time permits. He is a member of AFROTC, ERAU Design/Build/Fly Team and CANSAT Team. He is currently part of a research team exploring the development of unmanned quadcopters and helicopters. Michael is an avid member of the remote controlled aircraft community. He has a passion for building 1/18 scale WWII aircraft and volunteers with the MN Commemorative Air Force Wing. After graduating, he hopes to work in research and development of cutting edge technology and innovations for the next generation of civilian and military aircraft.


    Cary Spitzer Digital Avionics Scholarship
    Michael Portman, Georgia Institute of Technology

    Michael PortmanMichael Portman is a junior at the Georgia Institute of Technology studying Aerospace Engineering. He attained a pilot's license at age 17 and is working towards his instrument rating. Outside of class, he is active with the school’s Sigma Gamma Tau chapter and is vice president of the Georgia Tech Glee Club. Michael's future plans include earning his master's degree. He hopes to combine his passion for flight with aerospace engineering and work as a commercial test pilot or flight test engineer.


    Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award
    Luis Zea, University of Colorado at Boulder

    Luis-ZeaLuis studied Mechanical Engineering at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering at University of Central Florida and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Bioastronautics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Luis is passionate about finding ways to use microgravity to explore potential solutions to problems for space exploration and for people on Earth. His Ph.D. dissertation focuses on characterizing how bacteria become less susceptible to antibiotics in space. This problem relates to that of drug-resistant bacteria here on Earth, an issue that takes the lives of over 100,000 people every year, in the U.S. alone.


    Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award
    Daniel Cuppoletti, University of Cincinnati

    Daniel-CuppolettiI earned my B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UC in 2008 and will complete my PhD in the Fall of 2013 with a focus in Fluids & Propulsion and minor in Acoustics. My research interests include propulsion, combustion, aeroacoustics, experimental and computational fluid dynamics, energy sciences, and more. My experience spans industry and academia working in propulsion technologies for commercial and military engines and energy producing gas turbines.



    Guidance, Navigation and Control Graduate Award
    Aude Marzuoli, Georgia Institute of Technology

    Aude-MarzuoliAude Marzuoli is currently pursuing a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with a focus on Airport Operations, Traffic Flow Management, Optimization and Control. She has previously interned at the Systems Modeling and Optimization Branch at NASA Ames and at SESAR Joint Undertaking in Brussels. She is also collaborating with ENAC, the French Civil National School for Aviation. In 2012, Aude obtained a Master in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an Engineering Degree from SUPELEC, in France, after attending her preparatory classes at the Lycee Henri IV in Paris.


    William T. Piper General Aviation Systems Graduate Award
    Phillip Ansell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Phillip-AnsellPhillip earned his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State University, and has been pursuing his graduate studies at the University of Illinois. He has earned an MS in aerospace engineering from Illinois and is currently pursuing his PhD under the advising of Prof. Mike Bragg. Upon completion of his PhD, Phillip will be conducting postdoctoral research at Illinois and plans on pursuing an academic career at a high research activity university.


    John Leland Atwood Graduate Award
    Wendy Okolo, University of Texas at Arlington

    Wendy-OkoloWendy Okolo graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is currently pursuing a degree in the Ph.D. program at the same university with a research focus in alternate methods of trimming aircraft in formation flight as a fuel-saving initiative. In her spare time, Wendy likes to read, exercise, and spend time with her family.