Project Info: About Our Club:

The Team

Brock Smethills Brock Smethills, President

Class: 2013 (Senior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Denver, CO

I grew up listening to stories from my father about the legacy that accompanied two generations of Air Force Pilots. Not only did I hear about my father's and grandfather's distinguished careers flying for the military, but I also was regaled with stories of how my grandmother was one of the first recognized female reconnaissance pilots in World War II. Needless to say, I was immersed in aviation and aerospace from a very early age. I began taking flying lessons when I was twelve years old, and I continue to love to fly. While my upbringing inspired me to revere aerospace, my higher education at Vanderbilt University has prepared me technically to pursue a career in it. In addition to my academic pursuits, I have also interned for two large aerospace companies: Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and United Launch Alliance. Nevertheless, in the process of my undergraduate education, I developed an interest for business and management. I was employed for two summers by a real-estate development company working on a 12,000 home, $4 billion real-estate development. I was tasked with analyzing the financial feasibility of renewable energies on both a per-home basis, and a community wide spine-infrastructure approach. It was during these internships that I developed a deep passion for entrepreneurship. At this point, I am currently unsure as to which path I will take after I graduate. I am currently applying to graduate schools in both aerospace and thermodynamic engineering programs. Additionally, I am looking into what employment opportunities present themselves this up coming year.



Other Activities:Brother of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta, Pilot, Rancher, Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science, ASME Executive Member, Member of Woodmont Hills Church of Christ

Resume

 

Dexter Watkins Ryan Thompson, Vice President

Class: 2013 (Senior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown:Greenlawn, Long Island

Hi, my name is Ryan Thompson and I'm a senior studying Mechanical Engineering here at Vanderbilt with a minor in Financial Economics. For the past two summers, I have interned at an Engineering, Architecture, and Construction Management firm called STV Incorporated based in downtown New York City, which is only a train ride away from my home in Greenlawn, Long Island. I worked in the Buildings and Facilities division there and designed HVAC systems in commercial and institutional buildings. A few projects I worked on were a 240,000 square foot laboratory for West Point Military Academy, a 390,000 square foot bus depot and maintenance facility in Brooklyn, New York and a 90,000 square foot Army Reserve center in Cape Coral, Florida.
Upon graduation, I am looking to be in the aerospace industry, however I am not limiting my opportunities to only that field.
My interest in Aerospace Engineering stemmed mostly from a class I took my junior year called Airplane Aerodynamics. My professor, Dr. Anilkumar, who also happens to be the head of the Aerospace club here, asked me to join the team for the USLI competition and I gratefully accepted. I am now the Vice President of the club and am looking forward to an exciting year  of working towards a first place rocket.



Other Activities: SAE fraternity, Club Baseball

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Dexter Watkins

Dexter Watkins, Webmaster

Class: 2013 (Senior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Searcy, AR
I grew up listening to my grandfather talk about his career with Rocketdyne and NASA during the space race. I was fascinated by the myriad of pictures and relics from his past life, leaving me with a sense of awe for the aviation and space industries. It wasn't until coming to Vanderbilt that I realized Aerospace would not always just be that mysterious field that my grandfather so loved, but was instead something I could be a part of myself. I learned about the details of Aerospace Club from Sam Malanoski, a previous member, and am very eager to see where this great hands-on opportunity will take me.

Other Activities: Victory A Cappella, McTyeire International House

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Dexter Watkins

Frankie Corradetti, Treasurer

Class: 2013 (Senior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Linwood, NJ
My interest for all things science related began with my first trip to the Franklin Institute, a science museum for children in Philadelphia. After my visit, I constantly read science magazines and watched the Discovery Channel to learn as much as I could about science and engineering. Now that I am a junior at Vanderbilt, I am ready for a more hands-on approach to learning. My favorite part about engineering is applying it to the real world, and the Aerospace Club is perfect for that. It aligns perfectly with my interests, and I am looking forward to successful year with the team. 

Other Activities: The Society for Women Engineers, Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity

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Dexter Watkins Justin Langford

Class: 2013 (Senior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown:Zionsville, IN

I've been interested in science and engineering as long as I can remember. Beginning with Lego castles or pillow forts  and eventually a fully functioning electric go kart; I've found there's just nothing quite as satisfying as working with your own two hands to bring an idea to life. I have spent the past 3 summers in Indianapolis, IN with Allison Transmission working as intern within the Hybrid Systems group. My corporate experience has been focused within hybrid product engineering as well as calibration/system validation. I've always been passionate about cars, but now that I am a senior at Vanderbilt, I'm excited to chase my passion within a new avenue; aerospace engineering. I look forward to the challenges conquered, experience gained, and friendships forged throughout the upcoming year.



Other Activities: VSquared Mentor, AIAA Vanderbilt Chapter Vice President, Piano, Guitar, Running

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Dexter Watkins Jason Lee

Class: 2013 (Senior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Management
Hometown:Armonk, New York

I have been interested in mathematics and science all of my life.  During high school, I became even more intrigued with aerospace and mechanical engineering.  Then, last year, a visit to Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and NASA only further developed my interests in these fields.  Now, as a senior at Vanderbilt University, I feel that I am prepared for more hands-on experience.  The Aerospace Club, in combination with the USLI Competition, are providing me with the perfect opportunity to further develop my skills in preparation for my future career.  I view this opportunity as a unique learning experience and am looking forward to collaborating with a group of such talented individuals.



Other Activities:The Fraternity of Pi Kappa Alpha

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Dexter Watkins Brandon Dimmig

Class: 2014 (Junior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Elizabethtown, PA

I have always been interested in anything that flies. Whether I am building and flying remote control planes or flying in a single engine
aircraft, I enjoy applying what I’ve learned at Vanderbilt to my various hobbies, projects, and internships. During my junior year at Vanderbilt, I was a part of a small group of students who designed and built a small-scale remote control amphibious vehicle for a DARPA competition. As I am nearing my senior year at Vanderbilt, I am excited to be a part of this hands-on project and to not only develop professionally as an engineer, but to also work with my classmates and friends throughout the upcoming year.



Other Activities: Tau Beta Pi, Guitar

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Dexter Watkins Patrick Foran

Class: 2014 (Junior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

I am a junior studying mechanical engineering from Fort Collins, Colorado. My passion for engineering started in elementary school, when I began building Estes rockets and launching them.  From there, I became involved in motocross and motorsports and took automotive technology college classes while in high school. I have participated in EcoCAR and Formula SAE while attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology during my freshman year and I am now involved in the Vanderbilt Motorsports FSAE team. This summer, I will be working at the Nissan Motor Production facility in Decherd, Tennessee before returning to Vanderbilt for my senior year. I am thrilled to take on this challenging project with my peers and explore the capabilities of rocket design.

 

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Dexter Watkins Shiva Bernath

Class: 2014 (Junior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

I am a transfer student that came to Vanderbilt at the start of my sophomore year from the University of New Mexico. While I come from a family of entrepreneurs, I have always been interested in science and technology, looking up to astronauts and constantly seeking an understanding of the physical world. My uncle, who was an electrical engineer for Motorola, inspired me to channel my scientific interest into the field of Engineering. Another major influence was a space shuttle module I took in 5th grade. We simulated a day within a space shuttle, watched a real shuttle launch (on TV of course), and eventually launched model rockets. I was enthralled by the immense capabilities endowed upon us by science



Other Activities: E-Staff Member for WRVU Student Radio, Biking, Snowboarding

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Dexter Watkins Collin Grimes

Class: 2014 (Junior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown:Cary, NC

I grew up hoping to become a veterinarian who flew fighter jets, and didn’t change my mind until the beginning of high school.  That’s when I took physics, and had a blast at it.  I decided I wanted to work on stuff like those fighter jets instead of just dreaming about flying them.  Plus my Grandpa has been a welder in rural North Carolina for about 50 years and my dad went to school for Mechanical Engineering, so I like to think being a MechE runs in the family.  Needless to say, I’m not becoming a vet, but am having a great time at the VU School of Engineering.  Now, working with the Aerospace club on the CFD side of things, I hope to develop many engineering skills for the future…and have some fun while I’m at it.



Other Activities: Vice President of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Small Group Leader with Cru, Soccer, Wake Boarding

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Dexter Watkins Jamie Eldredge

Class:2013 (M.Ed. Candidate)
Major:Secondary Education, Biology
Undergraduate: B.S. Biology, University of Utah
Hometown:Salt Lake City, Utah

I am currently in my second and last year of my master’s degree. Upon completion of my degree, I plan to have a career as a biology teacher.  I have always loved learning about the world around me and am excited to spend my life educating others about this remarkable planet. I am participating in the USLI competition as part of the educational outreach component. The competition will allow me to further develop my teaching skills as I help bring the science of the competition into the middle scho1ol classroom.

 

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Dexter Watkins Shara Bellamy

Class: 2013 (M.Ed. Candidate)
Major: Secondary Science Education,
Undergraduate: B.S. Biology and Society, Cornell University
Hometown:Delmar, NY

This is my second and final year of my master's degree program in Secondary Education.  I will be participating in the educational outreach aspect of the USLI competition.  This competition will give me an opportunity to introduce more students to the principles of engineering and help prepare me to introduce engineering into my future classroom instruction.



Other Activities: Peabody Graduate Association

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Dexter Watkins

Carl Hall

Class: Graduate Student
Area: Combustion Studies
Undergraduate: BS Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University


I originally intended to pursue Aerospace Engineering, but chose to study the more general Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Now as a Vanderbilt graduate student, I specialize in topics that first sparked my interest, combustion phenomena. I am currently investigating fundamental flame behavior, using simple (but surprisingly complex) laminar hydrogen flames as the backbone for the studies. These flames allow us to better understand newer fueling mixtures in practical combustors, and through the Aerospace club will help realize tangible results.

 

Dexter Watkins Professor Heather Johnson, Outreach Advisor
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Science Education
Dr. A. V. Anilkumar Professor A. V. Anilkumar, Faculty Advisor
Professor of the Practice of Mechanical Engineering
Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics
VU Aerospace Robin Midgett, Safety Officer
Electronics Technician
Department of Mechanical Engineering