Four exceptional undergraduates from the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering will get a jump-start on their careers, thanks to the 2020 Brooke Owens Fellowship.
Saba Shaik, Sanjana Tewathia, Rachel Thomas, and Kinjal Ruecker (AE minor) learned in mid-January that they were selected to receive the fellowship - an honor that brings with it a high-powered summer internship at an aerospace-related company, two professional mentorships, and lifelong connections with a vast network other aerospace professionals - 'Brookies.'
Established in 2017, the Brooke Owens Fellowship annually recognizes college-age women who've distinguished themselves in the aerospace engineering field. The fellowship was established to honor the legacy of a space industry pioneer and accomplished pilot, Dawn Brooke Owens, who died of breast cancer in 2016.
Altogether, six of the 40 women selected for the 2020 Fellowship were from Georgia Tech. Joining their Aerospace Engineering School sisters were Olivia Plumb (Mechanical Engineering) and Katie Bishop (Electrical and Computer Engineering).
A third-year undergrad, Saba Shaik will spend her Brooke Owens Fellowship as a summer intern at Lockheed Martin. This spring, she will begin investigating ion engines as a student researcher in AE's High Power Electric Propulsion Lab. Prior to receiving the Brooke Owens Fellowship, she was chosen for a $1500 President's Undergraduate Research Award to fund her research on the deformation-diffusion behavior of swellable elastomers. Outside the classroom, Shaik is involved in Georgia Tech's Formula SAE team, which designs, builds, and competes F1-style race cars.
As a Brooke Owens fellow, Sanjana Tewathia will join Ball Aerospace as a systems engineering intern. At Tech, she has worked in the Space Systems Design Lab focusing on the TARGIT CubeSat Mission. A computer engineering minor, she has also worked as a teaching assistant for CS 1332: Data Structures and Algorithms. Previously, she interned at GE Aviation in the Fleet Support and Diagnostics group.
As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Rachel Thomas will intern with United Launch Alliance on the propulsion team. At Tech, Rachel has been very involved with the Spaceport America Cup team, where she leads the propulsion sub-team focused on developing and testing solid rocket motors. She can often be found in the machine shop turning down metal components on a lathe or tinkering with newly finished parts.
As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Kinjal Ruecker will intern at Virgin Orbit on the LauncherOne propulsion team. The fourth-year mechanical engineering major minors in aerospace engineering. She uses computational fluid dynamics to study “shuttle loss” in miniature Stirling cryocoolers and works to develop a miniature compressor motor for use in smallsats. A member of Tech's motorsports team, she uses all her skills to optimize the powertrain on the formula-style racecar for peak performance.