One thing that I will miss is the relationships that were created,” said Julia. “I believe that the relationships that I fostered with faculty and peers will last long after my time at UMD has ended.
A high school engineering program led Julia Mittelstaedt to think about the industry as a possible career. Fast forward five years and the senior from Upper Marlboro, Maryland is graduating as an A. James Clark Engineering Scholar and Lockheed Martin Undergraduate Scholar. The first engineer in her family, Julia chose the University of Maryland (UMD) because of the relationships that she felt could be built there.
Julia joined the UMD Aerospace Engineering community as a freshman and quickly became involved with the Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is graduating as President of WIAA, and this past fall, she spearheaded WIAA’s five-year anniversary celebration. The event served as a chance to acknowledge the incredible progress the organization has made, while also creating networking opportunities for AE students with some of the engineering fields top professionals who attended.
“As I continue on my career in engineering, advancing women in the field is always something that is going to be important to me,” said Julia. “The incoming class of freshman from this year was about 25% female, which has risen from 13% in just five years. I know that is something we are very proud of, but there is still more work to be done.”
During her junior year, Julia worked in the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center and was responsible for researching rotor blades that would reduce whirl flutter. Whirl flutter is a dynamic instability that leads to vibrations in the wing structure.
Julia spent her college summers in Connecticut interning with Sikorsky in their structural engineering department.
“I was never afraid to knock on my professor’s doors and ask questions,” said Julia. “None of my professors have ever turned me away or scrutinized me, and it helped when I went to Sikorsky because I felt that I could ask questions and be active in my internship.”
Starting in August, Julia will continue to work with Sikorsky in the structural engineering department, now in a full-time position.
“One thing that I will miss is the relationships that were created,” said Julia. “I believe that the relationships that I fostered with faculty and peers will last long after my time at UMD has ended.”