AAE senior selected as Astronaut Scholar

A Purdue University student with dual majors in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and aerospace financial analysis has been selected as a 2020 Astronaut Scholar.

Photo of Zachary Marshall
Senior AAE student Zachary Taylor

Zachary Marshall

Zachary Marshall, from Orland Park, Illinois, is one of three Purdue student recipients of the Astronaut Scholarship this year. He is a senior in the College of Engineering, the Honors College, and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, with majors in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and aerospace financial analysis. He is the recipient of the scholarship sponsored by Jim Hays in memory of Gene Cernan. With experience in three Purdue colleges, he focuses on a broad array of issues in aviation, from the technical details to problem-solving to management.

“I am committed to future research in investigating and mitigating the frequency and severity of uncrewed aerial vehicle separation conflicts in the national airspace system,” he said. “Fueling my flame of research ambition through an allegiance to academic excellence, I strive to elevate the future of our transportation networks.”

He has worked in multiple Purdue aviation design teams, including as a founder and recruiter, as well as a chief engineer, and is also the president of the Purdue chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. On the management front, he placed second in the nationwide Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition, in which the Federal Aviation Administration judged teams on airport planning. His research focuses on UAV (uncrewed aerial vehicle) systems.

Purdue’s other two Astronaut Scholarship recipients are Maia Clare in the College of Science, and Lindsey Wilson in the College of Science.

The Astronaut Scholarship

NASA astronaut Fred Haise flew on the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970, spending 142 hours and 54 minutes in space before returning safely to Earth. This year is the 50th anniversary of that mission. Haise will present the awards to these scholarship recipients in a special virtual event at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 21. The event will be streamed live on the Honors College YouTube page. In addition to an interview with Haise by Purdue aeronautical and astronautical engineering faculty member Steven Collicott, the event will feature a presentation of the awards to the three students and a live Q&A with Haise. Students are invited to participate and ask questions. This event is part of the Honors College Visiting Scholars program, which features engaging events with interdisciplinary scholars from a wide variety of fields.

The Astronaut Scholarship is given by The Astronaut Foundation (ASF), which was created in 1984 by the six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. The scholarship is known nationwide for being among the highest merit-based monetary scholarships awarded to undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math to a closed circle of universities. Purdue, a longtime member institution, is unique in offering three Astronaut Scholarships to its students.

Source: Purdue University News NASA astronaut Fred Haise to virtually present Astronaut Scholarships to Boilermakers