staff, December 4, 2014

Big Ten universities have a reputation for innovation. The conference?s status as a leader in this area was recently affirmed by Aviation Week magazine, a provider of global news and information for the aerospace and defense industries, which selected six students from five Big Ten schools for its ?Twenty20s? awards.

The winners from the Big Ten were:

  • Ronak Dave, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University
  • Nathan Kidder, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • Christopher Reynolds, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan
  • Akash Shah, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois
  • Elena Shrestha, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland
  • Nelson Yanes, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland

Each year, the program honors 20 of the most promising students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. To narrow the list down to the winners, Aviation Week reaches out to a list of 1,500 schools and ask them to nominate current students. From there, candidates submit a résumé that details their academic performance and contributions to the broader community. Then they create a presentation that outlines the science and technology projects they?ve worked on and what outcomes were achieved.

?These are young people in college who are already making significant contributions not only to aerospace, but to science and technology in general,? explained Carole Rickard Hedden, editorial director of Aviation Week Executive Intelligence. ?It?s not just about GPA. We want people who work well on teams, are active in their communities, and know about risks and even failures that are involved with [scientific] projects.?

[btn-post-package]Those winners were recognized last month at Aviation Week?s Aerospace & Defense Programs conference in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Apart from the honor itself, one of the most important benefits of being named one of the Twenty20s was the opportunity to attend that event and make connections that can help jump-start their career.

?They got to network with the most senior people in the aerospace industry,? Hedden said. ?They sat next to them during the conference, asked them questions, and met with them formally and informally.?

Congratulations to all of these students from the Big Ten Network!

By Brian Summerfield