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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, personal challenges and how they communicate the value of your individual research/design project.

Click HERE to learn the qualities that make a 20 Twenty

Nominations open April 1, 2023. Deadline to nominate by October 15, 2023.

Congratulations to the 20 Twenties Class of 2022

  • Tatiana Jaimes
    Tatiana Jaimes Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

    Undergraduate Student, Mechatronics Engineering Class of 2022 | Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

    Through NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge, Jaimes is designing and constructing a mechanical rover with a telemetry system capable of collecting data about the status of the driver, rover and operating environment. She was an electromechanical systems pathways intern at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where she worked on robotic spacecraft systems.

    Jaimes is vice president of Vaughn College’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and secretary for the school’s robotics team, through which she volunteers to teach K-12 students about 3D printing and robotics. As an international student from Colombia, she participated in a project for the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions to create a low-cost agricultural robot that can analyze soil data and balance its composition preparation for reforestation following wildfires.

  • Grace Robertson
    Grace Robertson Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    B.S. Aerospace Engineering | Class of 2022 | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    While working at Embry-Riddle’s Space Technologies Lab, Robertson was part of a student team that designed and assembled a cubesat capable of capturing images of the first commercial lunar landing. The EagleCam CubeSat was delivered to Intuitive Machines, which plans to launch it in the fourth quarter of this year. She has interned at Lockheed Martin and Collins Aerospace and is now a Sierra Space systems engineer.

    During her studies, Robertson was involved in various volunteer efforts focused on STEM education, bridging inequalities and environmental change. In addition to participating in monthly beach cleanups, she worked on an engineering project to design a robot that can remove microplastics from beach sand. As public relations officer for the Association for Women in Mathematics, she helped organize the Women in Science at Embry-Riddle event, which hosts STEM competitions for high school-age girls.

  • Alina Santander Vinokurova
    Alina Santander Vinokurova Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

    Undergraduate Student, Mechatronics Engineering | Class of 2023 | Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
    B.S. Physics | Class of 2021 • Universidad Mayor de San Andres

    Santander Vinokurova was the first Bolivian to compete in the NASA Rover Challenge, which she has participated in since 2016. At her university in Bolivia, she worked with a team at the Condensed Matter Laboratory to design for the challenge a mechanical rover inspired by the Andean hairy armadillo. She is also the founder and president of Vaughn College’s NASA Rover Club.

    Vinokurova was elected president of Vaughn College’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She has given more than 70 professional talks, including two TEDx talks about her experiences in and perspectives on the aerospace industry. Her volunteer efforts have focused on reducing the gender gap in STEM and improving access to STEM education in Latin America, including leading virtual and in-person STEM events for children.

Recognition & Awards Ceremony

The 20 students chosen for the 2022 awards were honored at the 20 Twenties Luncheon and at Aviation Week Network’s annual Laureates Awards and Banquet on November 3, 2022 at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. In addition, all winners have been highlighted in Aviation Week & Space Technology and will receive a free digital subscription to the magazine.

photos:  Nathan Mitchell Photography

The Top 20

Universities around the world nominate their top students who are working to solve challenges within the industry.

Now in its 9th year, the prestigious awards program received a total of 635 nominations from exceptional students worldwide earning university STEM degrees and awarded 180 of them as 20 Twenties winners.

A total of 149 different colleges and universities around the world have participated in the program since 2013 by nominating students on the basis of their academic performance, broader civic contribution, and the value of their research or design project.

Most importantly, the program brings together technology hiring managers, students, and faculty worldwide to recognize what’s needed for business and academic growth and success. The students begin building a network comprised of the technical experts who have built the industry, the universities gain visibility for high-quality education provided to the students, and hiring managers gain knowledge about the best of the best in the next generation of aerospace talent.

The 2022 nomination program brought in a total of 61 total qualified nominations from 26 different universities representing five countries. Five new nominator schools participated in the program this year. 

The schools representing the 20 Twenties class of 2022 include:

Nominations open April 1, 2023. Deadline to nominate by October 15, 2023.

Hear from Past Winners

  • "In both the Luncheon and Dinner, I built numerous professional relationships that I hope to sustain and grow over the rest of my career. Celebrating exceptional technological leaps and incredible individual contributions across all industry sectors was an amazing experience. I was honored and delighted to take part in the 20 Twenties events, and am very grateful for the support of Aviation Week and event sponsors."

    Zachary Marshall
    Zachary Marshall
  • "Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of being a 20 Twenty! I can confidently say that the networking opportunities allowed me to build connections that have helped me immensely as I start my career. For that I would like to say thank you. Also, I found the experience to be highly motivating too. It was incredible to see the amazing projects my fellow 20 Twenties are working on and the projects occurring within industry. Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of this amazing program."

    Logan Hill
    Logan Hill
  • “It was a rare opportunity to be surrounded by so many game changers in the industry who are contributing to developments in aerospace I had only previously read about and aspired to do someday. Interacting with them and hearing their stories has only reaffirmed my love for aerospace and my drive to carry on their work in the future.​"

    Shreyasvi Gowda
    Shreyasvi Gowda
  • "The 20 Twenties award will hold immense value in my young career as an engineer. It encouraged me to continue pursuing my dreams and demonstrated that I was truly making an impact on others. The award also helped me connect with future aerospace leaders and current aerospace leaders to not only advance my own development, but also create partnerships and friendships. The 20 Twenties Award Luncheon and Dinner by Aviation Week Network was an incredible experience that I will cherish at the beginning of my budding career!​"

    Ryan Udell
    Ryan Udell
  • "The 20 Twenties Luncheon and Laureates Awards Dinner was a very worthwhile experience that gave me the opportunity to meet and network with not only current aerospace industry leaders, but also with other 20 Twenties award winners."

    Emily Williams
    Emily Williams

Nominations open April 1, 2023. Deadline to nominate by October 15, 2023.


Premier Sponsor:

The 20 Twenties program reflects the best within the next generation of talent entering the aerospace and defense industries. As a global leader in advanced composites technology, Hexcel applauds these awardees for their outstanding academic accomplishments, and we are inspired by their passion. We look forward to working with them as together, we usher in a new era of cutting-edge advancements in aeronautics. I thank Aviation Week for the opportunity for us to meet these honorees and to participate in encouraging them as they reach for new heights.

Colleen Pritchard, Hexcel

Premier Sponsor:


As a sponsor and attendee for the 20 Twenties program, it was an excellent engagement with some of the brightest minds in aerospace and defense.  Even more than the energy and vision they provide for our industry, the inspiring message and enthusiasm they bring to our talent pipeline is much needed as we compete with others sectors.

Scott Drach, Boeing

Have a Question?

For all General Questions:
Email Anna Dariotis with the subject line
“20 Twenties”

For all Sponsorship Questions:
Email Anna Dariotis with the subject line
“20 Twenties Sponsorship Inquiry”

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