Jimmy Harter is a senior in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He is the Thermal Lead in the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory, as well as President of the UB chapter of oSTEM (out in STEM), a national nonprofit society of students and professionals dedicated to the support and development of the LGBTQ+ individuals. oSTEM envisions “a world where LGBTQ+ people in the STEM community are empowered to achieve success in a safe and supportive environment that celebrates their diversity and unique contributions.”
Where are you from?
Why did you choose to go into engineering?
I’ve always dreamed of being a part of space exploration, and math and science just always felt so natural to me alongside technology. Engineering gives the best of everything I love.
What do you like most about engineering at UB?
The professors are amazing, and are on the cutting edge of research in their field. The opportunities and knowledge you’re able to gain from them at Buffalo is astounding.
How’d you get involved in oSTEM (out in STEM)?
While I had attended meetings here and there in the past, I was approached by Anton, the previous President of oSTEM (out in STEM) while working in a lab with him. He convinced me to work with them as their treasurer, and working with that e-board felt so exciting and like we were able to make a difference in student’s lives on campus. That group really inspired me to want to continue that after they left!
What's your favorite part of being in oSTEM?
Unlike in my engineering classes, there is a huge amount of diversity in oSTEM. Not only are we all different shades of LGBTQ+, but the club is diverse in representation from all ethnicities, races, genders, majors, sexualities, and countries. It’s truly one of the hidden treasures of UB in general too!
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a paper to submit to the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) conference competition.
Has there been a particular faculty member who has been formative during your time at UB?
I’d give this to both Dr. John Crassidis and Dr. Javid Bayandor. Dr. Crassidis runs the Nanosatellite Laboratory, where I have been learning incredible skills on the topic if satellites since my freshman year. Dr. Bayandor has an infectious love of spacecraft missions, and could motivate a rock to jump. He runs the CRASH lab and works so hard to give the best opportunities to his students.
What are you passionate about?
My biggest passion is, and always will be, space. It is absolutely incredible to look out into the cosmos and reflect on our lives in such a relatively small location in the universe.
What are your future plans?
I plan on entering the workforce for a few years, before hopefully going back to graduate school to do more research in the field of thermal engineering!
What is your advice for prospective students?
I know it’s said everywhere, but go out and join groups you want to know more about! Even if you have no idea what they do, go for a meeting, any meeting. This goes for labs as well! Never feel afraid of emailing a student leader or professor asking about a group they run. I didn’t know what a lot of labs and clubs did until my junior year when I was in meetings with them planning events with oSTEM!