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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

  • Valerie Bernstein
    Valerie Bernstein University of Colorado Boulder

    M.S. Aerospace Engineering Sciences • Class of 2019 • University of Colorado Boulder | B.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics • Class of 2017 • Villanova University

    During her studies, Bernstein focused on researching how space weather affects Earth and technology in space, including how to improve modeling and forecasting capabilities for atmospheric drag. She was selected for fellowships at the National Science Foundation and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Bernstein is passionate about promoting science and making it more accessible to the public. To further these efforts, she serves as director for the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder’s STEMinar organization to promote interdisciplinary science communication, and she volunteers as a CU Science Ambassador to create space weather-related activities for youth outreach events.

  • Gautham Viswaroopan
    Gautham Viswaroopan University of Colorado Boulder

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

    Viswaroopan is working to develop electric-field (E-field) antennas for spacecraft, including serving as project manager of the cubesat Compact Spaceborne Magnetic Observatory and designing more optimal E-field antennas. He has already completed a rocket deck segment of the Rapid Active Plasma Sounder, which will launch in July. The challenges of being an international student led him to become an International Ambassador at the University of Colorado Boulder and the international chair of SEDS Earth, where he has grown the organization’s international chapters by 26 countries. He is leading SEDS’ GravityGames 2.0 initiative, in which international students will compete to design inventions that astronauts could make on a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station.

  • Julia Mihaylov
    Julia Mihaylov Johns Hopkins University

    Graduate Student, Space Systems Engineering | Class of 2021 • Johns Hopkins University • B.S. Aerospace Engineering | Class of 2019 • Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University

    During her undergraduate research, Mihaylov served as co-lead of the Julia Language Ephemeris and Physical Constants Reader project through NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her work directly aided JPL’s flight project Psyche and led to a part-time position at JPL supporting the Europa Clipper mission. Mihaylov was chosen for the Brooke Owens Fellowship—through which she interned at The Aerospace Corp. —and now is an alumni mentor to recent recipients of the fellowship. She served as editor-in-chief of the Horizons newspaper at Embry-Riddle, student vice president of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and chapter president for the Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity of Women.

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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