The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Utah Section has awarded their 2022 Professional Society Service and Leadership Scholarship to Kian Ben-Jacob, an undergrad in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the U.

Kian was recognized for his meaningful and consistent contributions in the academic setting and within his community. In addition to his undergraduate work, Kian is the President of the AIAA Student Chapter and Aerospace Club at the University of Utah, a member of Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, a licensed amateur radio operator, and a certified private pilot. He is also leading an effort to compete in the Spaceport America Cup.

“My interest in Aeronautics stems from my curiosity to explore the unknown,” said Kian “as well as the respect I have towards the engineering aspects involved. Aeronautics has really helped me appreciate just how capable humans are and has inspired me to contribute to our progression.”

Kian has channeled that interest and passion into helping build up the Aerospace Club, partnering it more closely with the Mechanical Engineering department, and working to recruit more members. He has led the design of the rocket the club is now in the process of building, as well as helps other club members learn the basic and advanced parts of high-power rocketry.

“By the time I graduate, I hope the club will grow to have more projects other than rocketry, such as flying and building competitions for drones and RC planes, and much more,” said Kian. “I think the key to this will be getting my peers as excited as they can about aerospace.”

Kian plans to finish his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, and then pursue a graduate degree, with the aim of working in the field of aerospace.

“I am very optimistic about the potential of humanity and believe our generation will play an important role for our future. I hope my peers will share my ambitions to learn from the universe, and help our wonderful world become more wonderful,” said Kian.

Kian is also an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Scholar with the U’s Office of Undergraduate Research. You can read more about that here.