project info: about our club:

the team

Zach Smith Zach Smith, President

Class: 2012 (Senior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Certifications: Level 2 High Power Rocketry Certification - National Association of Rocketry

As a junior at Vanderbilt this is my third year participating in the USLI competition, as well as one year of SLI when I was in high school. Since high school I have had an interest in aerospace/mechanical engineering, and this program is an excellent way to further develop my skills in these areas. The competition is an opportunity to practice design, reporting, and fabrication skills, as well as a unique chance to meet with other college students with similar interests from all over the country.

Other Activities: The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta
Paul Allen Paul Allen, Vice President and Webmaster

Class: 2012 (Senior)
Major: Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics
Hometown: Germantown, MD

This being my second year in the Aerospace Club, I have come to really enjoy seeing the development of these projects and be able to be a significant part of the final rocket. The ability for this club to furthur develop my engineering skills, makes this a learning experience I will use for the rest. I see aerospace as an ever expanding field that I would love to be a part of in the future.

Other Activities: The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta
Chris Lioi Chris Lioi, Treasurer

Class: 2012 (Senior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Math
Hometown: Winter Haven, FL
Certifications:Level 1 High Power Rocketry Certification - National Association of Rocketry

Ever since I was an nerdy, socially maladjusted child, I have been fascinated by space travel and space technology. In elementary school my class participated in a trip to space camp which forever captured my fledgling imagination and started me down my current path. I have also been a fan of Star Trek for as long as I can remember, which only fueled my imagination. With these motivations, I came into college with a firm goal of studying engineering and integrating my interest in science and mathematics with my desire to be involved in and expand the frontiers of space exploration.

I discovered the Vanderbilt University Aerospace Club through Travis Chan, a friend who at the time was a junior member of the club, and immediately joined. I have learned a great deal and with the knowledge and experience that I have gleaned I hope that my career in aerospace will, much like the rockets we so brazenly set up into the sky, blast off.

Other Activities: Vanderbilt Fencing Club
Taylor Stevenson Taylor Stevenson

Class: 2012 (Senior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Growing up around Warbird aviation has instilled upon me a deep love of flight and all things aircraft. I am a Private Pilot who, at 16, could legally fly before I could drive. To date, I have around 400 hours of flight experience in over 15 civilian and antique military aircraft. When not flying airshows, I restore vintage aircraft and automobiles for competition. At Vanderbilt University, the areas in which I excel are in mechanical design and hands-on problem solving and the Vanderbilt Aerospace Club will be an amazing opportunity to work with a great team to complete a worthwhile challenge.

Other Activities: Director of Vanderbilt University Dance Marathon, Vanderbilt Student Government Co-Chair, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Executive Member, Commemorative Air Force Pilot and Life Member
Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy

Class: 2012 (Senior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Dallas, TX
I am a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Management. I have always had an interest in "things that go," with a particular passion for aviation and aerospace that was punctuated in 2007 when I earned my FAA Private Pilot license. This past summer I worked at The Boeing Company in Flight Test Engineering for the 737NG. In addition to aviation, I also enjoy cars and tinkering with my motorcycle. Outside of class I participate on the Formula SAE team and sing in the Vanderbilt University Concert Choir. I am on track to graduate this coming May cum laude.
Tyler Hannan Tyler Hannan

Class: 2012 (Senior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Cooper City, FL
Ever since my childhood I have had a strong interest in air and spacecraft. When I came to Vanderbilt, I was drawn towards engineering and I decided, almost inevitably, to pursue a future in the aerospace field. Upon learning of the Aerospace Club, and what the club was all about, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I saw in the Aerospace Club an opportunity for me to gain practical and invaluable engineering experience by means of working on a project that I found truly exciting. I'm optimistic about what the team can accomplish and I expect to come away from the experience significantly better prepared for my future career.
Frankie Corradetti Frankie Corradetti

Class: 2013 (Junior)
Majors: 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
Dexter Watkins Dexter Watkins

Class: 2013 (Junior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics
Hometown: Scearcy, 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, and am very eager to see where this great hands-on opportunity will take me.

Other Activities: Business Manager and Webmaster for Victory A Cappella, resident in McTyeire International House's Chinese Hall
Brock Smethills Brock Smethills

Class: 2013 (Junior)
Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics
Hometown: Denver, CO
I have grown up in a family that cherishes aerospace. Both of my grandfathers and my grandmother were pilots and my father and I continue the tradition to this day. My first experience with rocketry was an internship my senior year of high school at United Launch Alliance which is a company that was formed in a merger between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The other interns and I built a 14 ft. rocket made out of carbon fiber that we laid and epoxied ourselves. I participated in the intern rocket program the next year completing a 23ft. rocket that was the largest rocket ever launched in Colorado I intend on pursuing a PhD in some field related to aerospace engineering after I graduate.

Other Activities: Cattle Ranching, Hunting, Snowmobiling, Training Horses, Flying
Michelle Cotterman Michelle Cotterman

Class: 2nd Year Graduate Student
Majors: Science and Mathematics Education, Department of Learning and Teaching
Hometown: Nashville, TN
My passion is to help students put science into action so that they develop lifelong scientific literacy practices. Right now, my current research centers on how to support students in coming to see and operationalize variables that emerge during extended ecological investigations. However, my long-term interests include supporting STEM teachers in developing communities of practice within their classrooms. Consequently, I am excited about how the outreach efforts of the Vanderbilt Aerospace Club can serve as a productive boundary object for collaboration between Vanderbilt's engineering majors, pre-service teachers, and local educational efforts across Nashville.
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