by Nicole Capozziello
Published September 1, 2022
Anoop Kiran, a recent aerospace engineering graduate from the University at Buffalo Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was named one of Aviation Week’s 20 Twenties for 2022.
The award, presented by the Aviation Week Network and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), recognizes 20 top aerospace students from an international field of highly qualified candidates. Students are chosen based on their academic performance as well as their potential to contribute to the broader community and communicate the value of their research.
Recently, Kiran completed an internship in summer 2022 at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), supporting structural analysis on the Mars Sample Retrieval Lander test fixture, and Assembly, Test and Launch Operations for the Europa Clipper mission. This fall, he is beginning a PhD program in aerial robotics at Brown University.
Since 20 Twenties launched in 2013, the AIAA has received 635 nominations from exceptional students earning STEM degrees at 149 different colleges and universities around the world. This year saw a 34% increase in applicants over last.
“Anoop exemplifies the ‘best of the best’ in terms of academic achievement and willingness to volunteer. Furthermore, his enthusiasm to instill his experiences upon other students is unprecedented,” says John Crassidis, Moog Professor of Innovation, SUNY Distinguished Professor, and Samuel P. Capen Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “His success further validates that our department attracts highly motivated students who can compete with the top students in the country. Anoop is truly an exceptional individual who will become an important leader in the aerospace field.”
Kiran’s other honors include an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and NASA Space Grant Fellowship in 2022, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship in 2021, and the Leaders in Excellence Scholarship from the UB Engineering and Applied Sciences Alumni Association in 2020.
Since his first year at UB, Kiran has made significant contributions in the classroom, research lab and on campus. He served as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, a physics & math tutor at the UB Tutoring and Academic Support Services, and a School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ ambassador. He was also active in the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory, the national and UB chapters of AIAA, and a mentor for students at Buffalo-area Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM).
In the future, Kiran hopes to serve at a national laboratory where he could disseminate applied research in aerospace to benefit the community. Kiran is grateful for his formative undergraduate experiences at UB, particularly the opportunities and mentorship provided by his research advisors.
Kiran and the other 2022 winners are invited to the 20 Twenties Awards Luncheon on November 3, 2022, at the Watergate Hotel, and then honored that same day during Aviation Week Network’s 65th Annual Laureate Awards and Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
This marks the third time that a student from the UB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has received the prestigious 20 Twenties award; Seamus Lombardo (’18) won the award in 2018 and Fatak Borhani (’19) won it in 2019.