Michael Zakoworotny ’21, mechanical engineering major in the Cornell Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, found engineering as an outlet for his curiosity early on – inspired to... Read more about Michael Zakoworotny '21 - Exploring all that mechanical engineering has to offer
Shreyasvi Gowda ’22 was selected as a Brooke Owens Fellow
By Erin Philipson
Shreyasvi Gowda ’22, a mechanical engineering major in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was selected as a Brooke Owens Fellow. The fellowship is designed to serve as both an inspiration and a career boost to exceptional young women and gender minorities who are passionate about the aerospace industry. Fellows are chosen for their talent, experience, commitment to service and their creativity.
Upon acceptance, fellows are matched with aerospace companies to complete a summer internship and two senior executive level mentors, one at their host company and one elsewhere in the industry.
Gowda will be interning at Joby Aviation, a California-based venture-backed aerospace company that is developing an eVOTL aircraft which they intend to use for an air taxi service. During the matching process, Gowda realized her experience with CUAir, a Cornell Engineering project team, aligned with company interests at Joby.
“The opportunity to take what I'm interested in as a college student, which is to use aviation to improve people’s quality of life, and be a part of it in industry, influencing the real world, is really incredible to me,” says Gowda.
Since her childhood, Gowda had always been interested in engineering, specifically aerospace. “It's an industry where you get to create things that seem like they shouldn't exist,” says Gowda. “People dedicate their lives to building these experimental, creative aircraft that are all based on physics but feel like imaginary, futuristic machines.”
While always interested in aerospace engineering, Gowda also felt that it was an intimidating and competitive industry with very complex challenges. She began to gain experience in the field after joining CUAir—where she was able to talk to older members about their experiences and work on hands-on projects.
“Getting to talk to older people who were going down this path and had so much knowledge and so much passion for it made me think ‘okay, this could be really difficult but I have to try because I have so much respect for the way that they are constantly looking for opportunities to learn and improve and I want to be a part of this in any way I can’,” says Gowda. The spirit of collaboration and culture of curiosity in CUAir proved to be a transformative experience for Gowda.
Gowda also gained experience in the industry working with Professor Meredith Silberstein in the Mechanics for Materials Design Lab. She worked on a project using Ansys, a complex simulation software, to simulate the carbon composite manufacturing process. Learning Ansys with Silberstein allowed Gowda to expand her interest into a different part of aerospace engineering, composites. Gowda will be working on the composites team at Joby Aviation this upcoming summer.
After graduation in 2022, Gowda plans to work in industry on engineering solutions that are integrated into day-to-day life.
Gowda’s advice for young women interested in the aerospace industry is to put yourself out there and go for those seemingly hard to reach opportunities.
“It's okay to not have the skills as long as you really want to learn something, you can,” says Gowda.