Where are you from?
I’m from Nanuet, New York, which is just north of New York City.
Why did you choose UB?
I chose UB because of its recognition as the only SUNY school offering an aerospace engineering degree program.
Why did you choose to go into engineering?
Throughout high school, I thoroughly enjoyed advanced math and science classes, in which I appreciated the lab experiments and applications of the coursework. Engineering seemed like the perfect balance of these classes, combined with problem-solving and analytical skills that I’d enjoyed developing through extracurriculars and projects. Therefore, thinking about joining the sector that drives innovation and inspiration, I decided to go into aerospace engineering.
What do you like most about engineering at UB?
Engineering at UB is very structured compared to other schools. Not only can students create personalized flowsheets, but also follow the Professional Development Blueprint that SEAS introduces during orientation. The blueprint has served as an invaluable reference, assisting me in making informed decisions on career preparation and graduate school; thanks to Dr. Olewnik, the Director of Experiential Learning Program, and his team for developing this amazing resource.
What is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the Law Library. I enjoy the serene atmosphere, positioned at an ideal location that allows me to take a break between studies and gaze at the view that envelops the buildings during winter.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I’m working on a research project focused on the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study of an airfoil with prescribed velocity under a gust encounter scenario at the DRiFT lab.
What else do you do on campus?
I’m an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, where I love sharing my knowledge with students. Apart from teaching and research, I enjoy time spending time on flight simulators with the UB Pilots Association. I have also been involved with the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) organization and UB chapter. AIAA has been a great platform for me to network with fellow aerospace students nationally, learning more about advancements in the aerospace industry through conferences and national forums. Additionally, I have thoroughly enjoyed implementing ideation to execution through the Design, Build, Fly program as a part of the AIAA student challenge every year.
What have you done that you are most proud of?
I’m proud of presenting my research at various regional and national conferences. I’m grateful to my mentors and graduate students for finding time to help me get hands-on experience, while guiding me to present it – helping me learn and grow within my field of interest. These experiences have given me the opportunity to represent UB as a Barry M. Goldwater scholarship nominee.
Has there been a particular faculty or staff member that has been formative during your time at UB, and how so?
I consider myself lucky to work with Dr. John Crassidis on Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) projects aligned with the University Nanosatellite Program objectives. Dr. Crassidis has been instrumental in every step of my research. During my time working with him, I have realized my challenges and setbacks, and he has constantly supported me in improving.
In addition, my faculty advisor Dr. Francine Battaglia always inspires me to work harder! She has helped me better navigate my interests and graduate school plans. I am also grateful to Dr. Christine Human, the SEAS Associate Dean for Accreditation and Student Affairs, for all the support that she provides for students at UB. She has constantly checked in with me during my academic journey to make sure that research and academics are well balanced.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about 1) growth in the software sector that drives aerospace innovation and 2) Advanced Air Mobility, a developing revolutionary air transportation system that moves people and cargo between places by connecting regions that aren’t usually within reach.
I am also very passionate about giving back to my local community through involvement in activities and mentorship. I have been actively involved in Buffalo-area Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM), where I collaborate with instructors in developing learning modes and activities about aerospace for K-12 students.
What are your future plans?
My plan is to continue learning and applying my knowledge. I would like to pursue graduate school in aerospace engineering, ultimately working with a company that values aerospace innovation to make the world a better place.
What is your advice for prospective students?
Engineering problems can be intimidating, but it’s in fact a challenge! Every opportunity is a chance to savor something new. Courses might get tougher as you progress through your academic journey but finding opportunities to apply the coursework, while gaining valuable skill sets, will help you stand out in the industry.
Anoop Kiran received a 2020 Leaders in Excellence Scholarship from the UB Engineering and Applied Sciences Alumni Association (UBEAA).