Three Embry-Riddle Students Named 20 Twenties

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Students Alexis Hepburn, David Zuehlke and recent graduate Julia Mihaylov have been honored as winners of Aviation Week’s “Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders: The 20 Twenties” Award for outstanding academic performance, industry and civic contributions and exceptional research while attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Established in 2013, the annual 20 Twenties awards program recognizes a very select group of talented individuals in their 20s who are on course to change the face of the aerospace and defense industry.

The global aviation, aerospace and defense recognitionprogram, administered in partnership with the American Institute of Aeronauticsand Astronautics, showcases 20 students worldwide each year earning STEMdegrees who are nominated by their universities.

This year’s program – an ongoing effort to create awarenessof the qualities students need to achieve while in school that will contributeto future academic and business success – had qualified nominees from 49 differentuniversities representing seven countries.

Alexis Hepburn is an undergraduate Aerospace Engineering(AE) student whose current research involves investigating advanced plasmathrusters for integration on small satellites. She is an honors student andmember of the Society of Women Engineers, the Eagles Space Flight Team, one ofthe leaders of the Campus Academic Mentor Program and active in STEM outreachand community service.

After Hepburn recently interned at Raytheon, she accepted aposition with the Raytheon Missile Systems Company following graduation thisMay.

David Zuehlke is a Ph.D. honors student in AerospaceEngineering focusing on analytical dynamics and orbital mechanics. His passionfor astronomy drives his current research focus in space surveillance usingsmall telescopes. In 2018, he was awarded the Florida Space Grant ConsortiumMasters Fellowship, which supports outstanding students completing their thesisin areas relevant to NASA.

He has spent the past two summers performing research withAE professor and advisor Troy Henderson at the Air Force Research Laboratory inAlbuquerque, New Mexico. He also assists Henderson as a teaching assistant forundergraduate-level Space Mechanics courses.

In May 2019, Julia Mihaylov received both the outstanding AEGraduate and the Chancellor’s Award, the top award for graduating seniors. As ajunior, she was named a Brooke Owen Fellow and given the chance to intern atAerospace Corporation where she received accolades for her work in the Modelingand Simulation Department.

As an undergraduate, Mihaylov held leadership positions in anumber of campus honors and women’s organizations, was Editor in Chief of thecampus newspaper and led student research projects that worked on the designand fabrication of an electric vehicle capable of achieving 250 mph and anEarth-based spacecraft landing system.

President Butler noted about the students honored that,“placing three Eagles among 20 honorees is a real point of pride for theuniversity and a positive reflection on the quality of our programs, resourcesand faculty. We know their success will help inspire future students to becomeEagles and fly as high as Alexis, David and Julia have risen.”

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