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Benjamin Pham

  • Major: Aerospace Engineering
  • Hometown: Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
  • Graduation Year: 2023
  • E-mail: bpham3@vols.utk.edu

Ambassador Profile

Hey there Future Vols!

My name is Ben Pham. I'm a junior studying Aerospace Engineering with an honors concentration and a minor in Engineering Leadership. I graduated high school in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, just east of good 'ole Nashville. Before that, I lived all over the south, from Florida to Texas to Arkansas. Tennessee, however, is by far my favorite place to be and I'm proud to call Rocky Top my new home. 

So why did I choose aerospace engineering? For me, I've always had a passion for building things and problem solving. There's just this feeling of satisfaction when you can sit back and admire the work that you've created, knowing that it's going to do something amazing. Combine that with my love of rockets, satellites, and anything space related, and you can see how aerospace engineering become my discipline of choice.

On campus, I try to be as involved with as many things as I can handle, dipping my toes in research, student orgs, and honors programs. This year, I'm serving as the president of UTK's Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) chapter, the treasurer for our American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) chapter, and as the election commissioner for the university's Student Government Association.

With research, I'm going on my 2nd semester working with Dr. Kenneth Kihm. We are researching Carbon-Carbon Composites and their properties using advanced techniques, including RAMAN spectroscopy and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy for the USAF. To simplify that down a bit, I shoot lasers at carbon fiber. I love doing this research as I feel like I'm doing legitimate work that's going to impact the way we travel in the future.

This past summer 2021, I got the opportunity to study abroad in London with Dr. Michael Berry, one of the EECS professors here at UTK. A cohort of us spent a month there studying, taking classes, and exploring what the world offers outside of our little bubble in the states. We visited places like Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing and the UK's codebreakers cracked the Enigma code during WW2, and the Greenwich Royal Observatory, home of the Prime Meridian.

The jump from high school to college is definitely a big one, filled with lots of anxiety but also excitement. I'm glad I chose the University of Tennessee because, although it may be large, it's only as big as you make it. I've been able to form some really amazing friendships here, some that I could have never made at a different college or university. So come by the Tickle College of Engineering and follow along for a tour or shoot me your questions! We'd be more than happy to have you here on Rocky Top! Go Vols!!



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