Pictured left to right, top row: Ezra Bregin, Sander Cochran and Michael Mallamaci; center row: Liam McCue, Roshni Patel and Evan Ruderman; bottom row: Ryan Ruspil, Anish Sankla and Matthew Thomas.
On May 4, the Department of Aerospace Engineering, along with the Clark School of Engineering celebrated undergraduate students for their outstanding excellence in academics, leadership, and service during the annual A. James Clark School of Engineering Honors and Awards Ceremony.
Among this year’s 69 award recipients were nine aerospace engineering students recognized with the following awards:
The Department of Aerospace Engineering Alfred Gessow Academic Achievement Awards are presented to those graduating seniors in the department who have attained the highest overall academic average. The 2022 awardees were:
- Ezra Bregin
- Alexander (Sander) Cochran
- Evan Ruderman
The Joseph Guthrie Scholarship Awards are presented to those juniors in the department who have achieved the highest overall academic average. The 2022 awardees were:
- Anish Sankla
- Matthew Thomas
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to the student who has made the most outstanding contribution through scholarship and service to the student branch and the department. The 2022 awardee was:
The Department of Aerospace Engineering Chair's Award is presented to those students who have made the most outstanding contributions through excellence in academics and outstanding service and leadership to the department. The 2022 awardees were:
- Michael Mallamaci
- Liam McCue
- Roshni Patel
The Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics Award is presented to the student who has made the most outstanding contribution through scholarship and service to the organization and the department. The 2022 awardee was:
About the Awardees (in alphabetical order)
Ezra Bregin is a senior aerospace engineering and physics dual degree student with a 4.0 GPA. He is part of the Aerospace Engineering Honors Program and has presented his research on relative state estimation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Region 1 student conference. His passion for space has led him to be actively involved with Terrapin Rockets throughout his time at Maryland and to him being elected president for the 2021-22 academic year. Ezra plans on pursuing his Ph.D. to continue his academic journey.
Sander Cochran is a senior aerospace engineering student with a 4.0 GPA. Last summer, his work as an intern for the Exploration and Space Communications project division at the Goddard Space Flight Center supported ground station testing for the upcoming Artemis missions. He is a member of the University Honors program, a former teaching fellow for the Physics department, and has participated in the Academic Match tutoring program. After graduating, Sander plans to continue working in the space industry in astrodynamics and navigation.
Michael Mallamaci is a freshman aerospace engineering student with a 4.0 GPA. He is a founding member and current community building co-chair of the aerospace department’s student leadership organization, AeroCorps. Additionally, Michael is a member Terrapin Rockets where he works on creating a payload for their competition rocket, and a member of SEDS where he works on their SatFab team designing a high-altitude balloon payload designed to test satellite components.
Liam McCue is a junior aerospace student on the aeronautical track with a minor in general business, and is a member of the University Honors College. He has been a member of Nearspace Balloon Payload Program, First Year Innovation and Research Experience, and the Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory. Currently, Liam is an intern for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) at Patuxent River.
Roshni Patel is an aerospace engineering student who is minoring in project management. She is a member of the Science, Technology, and Society Scholars (STS) program. Her most meaningful experience is being the president of the Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics chapter, an organization dedicated to empowering marginalized genders in the field. She has been a teaching fellow for courses in aerospace engineering and her Scholars program. Outside of mentoring, Roshni is involved with research at the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center. Following graduation, she will be working at the Aerospace Corporation and hopes to pursue a master’s degree.
Evan Ruderman is a senior aerospace engineering student with a 4.0 GPA. He is currently co-oping part-time at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he will work after graduation as an operations systems engineer on the Perseverance Rover mission. He is a founding member of the UMD Gemstone project, Team Autocycle. Evan has previously contributed as an intern to aerospace projects including the James Webb Space Telescope, Starship, Psyche, and Europa Clipper.
Ryan Ruspil is a junior aerospace engineering student minoring in robotics & autonomous systems. Ryan is a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force, which he joined in 2016, serving for four years as a Cryptologic Language Analyst before being selected to finish his bachelor's degree. He previously earned an Associate of Arts in Mandarin Chinese from the Defense Language Institute. Ryan is a volunteer with Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD) and arranged for Fort Meade service members to assist with many SOMD events. After graduation, he will be commissioning as an officer in the Air Force.
Anish Sankla is a junior aerospace engineering student with a 4.0 GPA. He is a member of the aerospace honors program, researching and developing liquid bi-propellant rocket engines under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Cadou. Anish also helped found SEDS@UMD, a club on campus promoting space-based technical projects and is leading their liquid rocket team in developing a 350lb thrust rocket engine. This summer, he will intern as a mechanical engineer at Venturi Astrolab, a startup developing commercial planetary rovers.
Matthew Thomas is a junior aerospace engineering student with a 4.0 GPA. He is a member of the University Honors Program and the Aerospace Engineering Honors Program. Matthew is the president of SEDS@UMD, a club dedicated to the development of space-based engineering projects, such as CubeSats, liquid rocket engines, and satellite hardware. He has interned at the Army Research Laboratory and MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and plans to intern with Starfish Space this upcoming summer. Outside of his academics, Matthew is also an active member of UMD Club Boxing.
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