Imagine entering a global contest where the prize for winning is attending an international air show and then spending a day as a guest at Boeing.
For Stanford Engineering doctoral candidate Noel Bakhtian, this dream became her reality.
During a Feb. 29 visit to Boeing sites in the Puget Sound region, Bakhtian -- named the 2011 Engineering Student of the Year Award (ESOYA) winner in an international competition co-sponsored by Boeing and part of the Flightglobal Achievement Awards -- presented aspects of her research in the field of supersonic retro-thrusters to engineering leaders from across the company.
She then toured the large airplane production facilities in Everett, Wash.
“It was such an honor to meet and share my research with the engineering leaders. They were all supportive and engaged,” Bakhtian said. “And the Everett production building was amazing. Standing by airplane landing gear, touching gigantic engine nacelles, and standing in an unfinished airplane cabin are things I won't ever forget.”
Bakhtian won the award for her work involving a concept for slowing down heavy vehicles on missions seeking to land on Mars in the field of supersonic retro-thrusters.
The competition, now in its seventh year, recognizes two engineering students from accredited undergraduate or graduate programs whose research has the potential for impact on current or future aeronautical or space technology. Winners attend the Flightglobal Achievement Awards event, which alternates between being held at the Dubai or Farnborough air shows. Bakhtian attended the Dubai Air Show with her father to receive her award.
The 2012 Boeing Engineering Student of the Year Award winner will be hosted at the Farnborough Airshow in July, and honored along with other individuals being recognized by the awards.