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2016-02-20

The Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA)

Founded only five years ago, the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA) has become one of Yale’s largest extracurricular organizations, including 65 dedicated members. YUAA is the only group of its kind here, giving students of any year and any major the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with a yearlong engineering project. In the 2015-2016 year, the organization took on four challenging projects, envisioned and proposed by the members themselves: a rocket carrying our first biological payload, a high-performance UAV, our first CubeSat (a two-year endeavor), and our first optical telescope.

Led by two experienced members, each team works to bring their projects from concept to reality, managing everything from start to finish. By this point, most have completed a prototype, and the second semester will see each kicking it up a notch as they embark on their final designs. With the successful acquisition of funding from corporate and governmental sponsors (including Alcoa, Quanergy, and NASA) and a PR team hard at work planning Aeronautica (our annual project exposition open to the public), YUAA is excited for the semester ahead.

As we grow, we keep two goals in mind: exploring the aerospace community and channeling our efforts into increasingly difficult, but ultimately enriching, projects. The first is why we value the opportunity to work with SEDS and why we want to stay in touch with our alumni and invite professionals to speak with us. Whether we’re connecting with other students or with industry leaders, we believe that reaching out into the field will provide context to our projects and inspire our members. What then naturally follows is the continued improvement in what we do, as we are stimulated by what we see and build upon our experiences. For example, newly added to the leadership team is the Director of Project Management, who will assist us in this effort by documenting and archiving our projects so that we can return to the lessons learned from them in the future, and even the projects themselves, when we choose to rework and improve them.

Today, the group continues to flourish as a community of engineers and a society of friends. Hosting everything from speaker series and technical workshops to family dinners and movie nights, the organization has something for everyone. Work and play, learning and experience – they’re one and the same here, and 2016 is shaping up to be our best year yet. Looking forward, we are eager to deepen our involvement in the SEDS community and excited to continue building relationships with our fellow chapters and engineers.

Ad astra,

Gray Newfield
SEDS Chapter Representative

Devin Cody and Gerardo Carranza
Co-Presidents

Lucia Korpas
Director of Project Management

Warren Zhang
Director of Development

Jeff Gau, Genevieve Fowler, Bolun Liu
Senior Advisors and Former Presidents

Pratik Gandhi
Director of Public Relations

Isabella Trierweiler
Treasurer and Secretary

Betsy Li, Scott Smith, Brian Beitler, Andrew Arkebauer
Project Leaders