Spruha Vashi

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Student Classification: Junior
Major: Design

Why did you choose Aeronautics and Astronautics?
I have had an interest in space since the 6th grade when I was able to be a part of a simulated space mission. Since then, my dream of becoming an astronaut, paired with my passions for robotics and engineering drew me to

Best event or organization you’ve participated in within AAE?
SEARCH! The Space and Earth Analogs Research Chapter is a new AAE organization that I had the privilege to lead as Vice President for its first year on campus. The organization focuses on a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together students of all majors that have a passion for space exploration. The club has 2 areas that focus on technical research, analog missions and workships, and outreach to the Purdue community!

Best event or organization you’ve participated in outside of AAE?
SWE! The Purdue Society of Women Engineers is one of my favorite organizations for the community of women I have found that support through. I love socializing and bonding with other members, and being on the executive board for the past year as Social Director, and now as VP Membership, has really provided me with so many fun opportunities to share my love for women engineers.

Why did you want to be an AAE Ambassador?
When I joined Purdue as an FYE student, one of the things I noticed througha lof of the AAE student organization leaders was the term AAE Ambassador. After learning about the position and what they do, I relaized that I would love to be able to give back to the School of Aero and Astro and represent my major. I wanted to be able to share my own stories and advice and give everyone the

Favorite place on campus?
Dudley and any coffee shop!

Favorite class you’ve taken thus far and why?
AAE251, Intro to Aerospace Design! I loved the project style of the class and being able to work in teams! Getting to design our own mission to Venus was the highlight for me, and I really enjoyed the insight into every design aspect.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a potential AAE student?
Trust yourself! Everyone has their own path and their own style of doing things, don't ever feel pressured if you see others doing more/less than you are, studying a different way, joining a bunch of clubs,etc. You belong in this major and will find where you belong with time. You know yourself and your capabilities better than anyone else!

Who is someone you look up to in the Aero/Astro industry and why?
Shirisha Bandla, one of the few women of Indian origin to go to space, is someone I look up to. I had the privilege to meet her recently and it was inspiring to see her journey through Purdue, her work in academia, joining Virgin Galactic, and now as a VP helping researchers and scientists get the opportunity to travel to space through Virgin Galactic and conduct experiments. I look up to the journey she took to finally become an astronaut, and now hold a position to allow those who could conduct groundbreaking research also reach space.

What motivates you to succeed?
The desire to contribute in any way, big or small, to the improvement of and enhanced understanding in space travel once I get into the workforce.

What is your ultimate career goal?
My ultimate career goal is to become an astronaut, as a crew engineer that is able to solve problems onboard. Another career goal I have is to pursue entrepreneurship in the space industry and work on launch vehicles.

What do you like to do when you’re not studying/in the lab or classroom?
I love hanging out with friends, going to concerts, painting, working out, and taking film photos!