AEM undergraduate open house a success

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM) held its first-ever open house on September 29. The evening included students and faculty from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Rocket Team, and the Ballooning group. Current AEM undergraduate and graduate students were on hand in the different department labs, such as the wind tunnel lab, the Small Satellite lab, and the Robotics, Dynamics, and Control labs,  to speak with  prospective students about research opportunities and the different groups and majors within AEM. 

The current AEM students that hosted the event expressed how excited they were seeing the 70 or so interested freshmen and sophomores who came out to learn about the different groups within the Department. Junior Ryleigh McGiveron, who is majoring in Aerospace Engineering and serves on the AEM Mentorship Program/AEMbassadors team, said, "I really have enjoyed being able to pair the younger undergrads with older students or even people recently graduated in industry or grad school. It's nice for them to get the opportunity to have someone they can easily go to for advice on classes, internships, or anything else. Through (involvement in) AEMbassadors, I have liked being able to tell freshmen about some of the things the department has to offer and why Aerospace is so cool!"

When I was a freshman, it was kinda intimidating to try and find a student group to be a part of. I feel like having all the groups at the event to talk to the attendees made it really easy to learn about what's all going on. --- Junior Ryleigh McGiveron

Many interesting conversations took place throughout the event. A senior student in the program was overheard chatting with another undergrad about the newest addition to the lab component of AEM 4601.  AEM recently acquired a new one-degree-of-freedom (1 DOF) helicopter. This helicopter will be introduced to students in the AEM 4601 lab for the Spring 2023 semester. The senior student commented how lucky the newer students are to be working with the new 1 DOF '…because it looks fun!'

Demonstrating a drone at the 2022 AEM open house.

Macy Bauers, an AEM Senior and Vice President of the Rocket Team, talked about the Team's participation at the open house. She said that working to create a casual atmosphere to chat with other students is important because it provides an opportunity for them to hang out with other members of the Rocket Team and learn about the projects the team is working on.     

With the positive reception the open house received, the Department has plans to make this an annual event and offer more hands-on learning opportunities, along with a virtual component as well.

AEM projects at 2022 open house.

The Department wishes to thank all the students and staff who helped organize and host the open house. Special thanks to Yohannes Ketema, Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, for spearheading the efforts to make this event possible.


AEM open house collage.