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What makes a 20 Twenty?

Aviation Week Network honors 20 students in their Twenties each year currently enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM). The 20 Twenties program was established by Aviation Week Network in 2013 to recognize talented individuals who are on course to change the face of the aerospace and defense industry. Criteria is based on academic performance, public/community involvement and how they communicate the value of your individual research/design project.

Click HERE to learn the qualities that make a 20 Twenty

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Nominations close April 30, 2021

Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders

  • S. Reza Fattahi M.
    S. Reza Fattahi M. Sharif University of Technology

    Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering • Class of 2020 • Sharif University of Technology | B.S. Aerospace Engineering • Class of 2017 • Sharif University of Technology

    As treasurer of the university’s student environmental group, Fattahi became interested in sustainable solutions for aviation such as electric vertical-takeoff and-landing (eVTOL) transportation systems. That led to his master’s thesis work: designing a robust control system for urban transportation eVTOLs. As project advisor, he helped lead his team to fi rst place in last year’s AIAA Graduate Team Aircraft Design Competition. He established the aerospace engineering department’s student for aerospace design competitions, where he mentors and pursues company sponsorships for student teams. He has interned at Farsco Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center and works part time as a configuration development engineer at SAMAD Aerospace, where he is helping develop the company’s Starling Jet concept.

  • Kate Byrd 

    Kate Byrd 
 Harvard University

    M.S. Engineering Sciences • Class of 2019 • Harvard University | B.S. Bioengineering • Class of 2015 • Clemson University

    As an associate technical staffer at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Byrd is researching miniature antenna designs to enable smaller systems with higher data speeds for Earth-to-space and satellite-to-satellite communications. She received a Lincoln Scholar award to pursue her Master’s degree at Harvard and was selected for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the Draper Fellow Program. To spread her passion about diversity in engineering, Byrd has mentored freshmen girls through Clemson’s Women in Science and Engineering program and volunteered with the Junior League of Boston. She also serves as chief operating officer of Girls Who Build, organizing workshops for high schoolers with topics ranging from photography and music to climate change.

  • Chloe Johnson
    Chloe Johnson The University of Texas at Austin

    Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering • Class of 2020 • The University of Texas at Austin | B.S. Engineering Mechanics • Class of 2018 • University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Johnson is working to improve understanding of the next generation of eVTOL aircraft through her graduate research, which aims to validate the airworthiness of experimental designs and improve rotor aeroacoustics to reduce noise. She is investigating the performance and acoustics of coaxial, co- rotating rotors for eVTOL aircraft and is sharing the results of her experiments with Uber Technologies —the project’s funder—and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. As president of the Graduate Ladies of Aerospace and Mechanics organization, Johnson is working to increase diversity in her university’s aerospace department. She also has organized a STEM career fair for female students from low-income backgrounds.

The Top 20

Universities around the world nominate their top students who are working to solve challenges within the industry. Only 20 exceptional winners are chosen.

Now in its eighth year, the 20 Twenties program received nominations from nearly 50 schools across seven countries, including 17 new ones. Several winners have served as leaders at their universities in helping students from diverse cultural backgrounds achieve better access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and opportunities.

One area of STEM outreach on which this year’s winners are heavily focused is women’s representation in aerospace. Not only were more than half of 2020’s winners female, but many of the students have volunteered their time with organizations and nonprofits devoted to increasing women’s representation and interest in STEM.

Nominations close April 30, 2021

“One of the biggest problems in the sciences today is that we have a tendency to treat science as inaccessible to certain people. This not only shuts people out from the opportunity for support to pursue science, but also manifests into a culture conditioned to fear science as something that’s untrustworthy or incomprehensible.”

Valerie Bernstein

20 Twenties winner

Nominations close April 30, 2021

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