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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

  • Simon Shuham
    Simon Shuham University of Colorado Boulder

    M.S. Aerospace Engineering • Class of 2019 • University of Colorado Boulder | B.S. Mechanical Engineering • Class of 2017 • Harvard College

    During his undergraduate research, Shuham completed a project to design and test a deployable 0.5-m (1.6-ft.) radio antenna dish for cubesats for a small-satellite startup company. He has worked as a propulsion systems design engineer at United Launch Alliance and now is a propulsion engineer at Blue Origin, where he is helping to develop and design the BE-3U engine on the New Glenn rocket second stage. Shuham serves on the board of the AIAA’s Pacific Northwest chapter and on the Seattle Museum of Flight’s Future Leaders team. He founded Harvard’s chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and spent a summer cycling across the country with Spokes America to teach STEM courses to hundreds of students.

  • Jane Gillette
    Jane Gillette The University of Alabama

    Undergraduate Student, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics • Class of2020 • 
The University of Alabama

    Gillette has interned at the Challenger Learning Center, NASA’s Science
    Mission Directorate and United Launch Alliance—where she worked to train the
    Ascent team to sit on console during the Boeing Starliner Commercial Flight Test and NASA Artemis missions. Gillette also serves as project manager and lead systems engineer for the Alabama Rocket Engineering Systems team, which is designing, testing and building a two-stage solid-fuel rocket to launch to 100,000 ft. In addition to volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and Alabama’s STEM Path to MBA Program outreach efforts, Gillette has worked with the Tuscaloosa Rocketry Challenge to teach middle school students about space and rocketry.

  • Paula do Vale Pereira
    Paula do Vale Pereira Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    M.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics • Class of 2019 • Massachusetts Institute of Technology | M.S. Thermal Science and Engineering • Class of 2017 • Federal University of Santa Catarina | B.S. Business and Management • Class of 2015 • State University of Santa Catarina | B.S. Mechanical Engineering • Class of 2014 • Federal University of Santa Catarina

    At MIT, do Vale Pereira has served as mechanical system lead for a deformable mirror demonstration mission cubesat and a folded lightweight positioning system, both of which are aimed at better exoplanet detection methods. She has received the Amelia Earhart Fellowship and was chosen as one of MIT’s Graduate Women of Excellence. She serves as mentoring and outreach director in MIT’s Graduate Women in Aerospace Engineering group. She has also developed several non governmental organizations in Brazil to help underprivileged students.

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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