MAE Student Wins Fellowship

Feb. 26, 2020 - Samueli School mechanical and aerospace engineering undergraduate Amy Huynh is one of 30 students nationwide to win a 2020 Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship, a summer internship and executive mentorship program developed to inspire the next generation of commercial spaceflight leaders. The fellowship includes a paid summer internship at a commercial spaceflight company, as well as a one-on-one pairing with an experienced space industry leader who serves as a mentor.

Now in its third year, the fellowship is sponsored by the Isakowitz family in memory of Matthew, a young engineer and entrepreneur with a passion for commercial space exploration. This year, the program received more than 130 applications from 68 colleges in 25 states.

Huynh, a junior who is double majoring in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering, will work for 10-12 weeks over the summer on the structures team at Astra, a startup rocket manufacturer headquartered in Alameda, California.  

She took a gap year in 2019 to intern at NASA Goddard, where she worked on direct exoplanet detection; Made In Space, where she was involved with in-space additive manufacturing technologies; and NASA Ames, where she gained experience in small satellite orbital analysis. Huynh, a 2019 Brooke Owens Fellow, hopes to pursue an interdisciplinary career that combines aerospace engineering, product design, fashion and entrepreneurship. A first-generation, low-income student, she wants to make a meaningful impact in the aerospace industry and to inspire future generations from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds.

"I am extremely grateful to receive the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship and for the opportunity to honor Matthew's inspirational legacy of extraordinary kindness and passion for commercial space exploration,” said Huynh, who also thanked Samueli School professor Natascha Buswell for her support. “As a first-generation college student and an Asian American woman, it can be really difficult to navigate a career in aerospace without guidance or representation in the field, so the Brooke Owens and Matthew Isakowitz Fellowships really become an incredible support system and network of people who will shape the future of the aerospace industry.” 

-Anna Lynn Spitzer

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