- Major: Aerospace Engineering
- Hometown: Collierville, Tennessee
- Graduation Year: 2023
- E-mail: email@example.com
Hello! My name is Sreya Kumpatla, and I’m a junior majoring in Aerospace Engineering with an honors concentration. I’m originally from the suburbs of Pennsylvania, but I’ve also lived in Hyderabad, India for a few years and I’ve been living in Memphis for the past four years. So you could say Knoxville is now my fourth home! I love the energy and spirit that this university has, and the friends I’ve found at the TICKLE College of Engineering feel like family. I hope that if you choose to attend UTK and TICKLE, you’ll feel just as strongly about it as I do!
From a young age, I have been passionate about science and developed strong logic and problem-solving skills. I especially was fascinated with space and the vastness of our universe, and it wasn’t until I attended a high-school STEM camp for girls that one of the aerospace engineers told me that I would make a brilliant rocket scientist and could have a chance to work in the field of space exploration. Ever since then, I’ve been committed to aerospace engineering and I haven’t looked back. There’s still so much I want to learn about engineering and what technical sub-field I would enjoy the most, so I plan on going to graduate school before joining the aerospace workforce.
While I was initially very nervous about attending such a large institution like the University of Tennessee, my fears were all dispelled soon after I visited the campus for the first time. Other than our stunning campus views and the many gorgeous buildings we have, I realized from hearing from the advisors and other students that there’s so much more to the college of engineering than classes and homework. TICKLE is so much more than that, it brings so many intelligent and unique individuals and is a powerhouse of engaging student organizations, undergraduate research, study abroad opportunities, amazing professors and faculty, and so much more!
My freshman year definitely felt intimidating, but one of the ways it felt easier is through making new friends with other nervous but excited freshman! Being a part of the Haslam Scholars Program and living in the Honors LLC my freshman year, I was surrounded by other like-minded and hardworking students, many of whom were also studying engineering, and many of my closest friends were formed through the shared living experience. I also met many friends through the amazing student organizations on campus, out of which my favorite ones are the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), TEDxUTK, and the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE). I’m also a part of the Cook Grand Challenge Honors Program, which you should definitely look into if you love to be challenged and are very excited to dive into some interesting projects and classes in your freshman year at UT!
Something else that I really cherish so far in my college journey is the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research. Through professors and older students, I heard of an opportunity to work with Dr. Stephanie TerMaath of the Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical who works on a project funded and led by NASA. After reaching out to her through a simple email and in-person meeting, I joined her research team and have been a part of it for two years now! I’ve been learning about the aerodynamics of an airplane wing and how to make it more efficient, picking up some hands-on skills using different modeling software, and even writing my first academic journal paper! I never expected to learn half of these things so early on in my career, but the critical thinking and learning skills, along with the ability to catch mistakes and learn from them and how to prevent errors with the guidance of professors and mentors, were really beneficial and I enjoyed every part of my research journey so far. I’m so grateful to my research team and the college for giving me that opportunity to learn and grow and partake in such a unique and exciting project.
College may seem daunting at first, especially the prospect of choosing one out of hundreds, but even at a university as large as the University of Tennessee, having an additional engineering college that focuses on you and other young engineers will make you feel right at home. The TICKLE College of Engineering is here to invest in you and your hopes and aspirations so that you can achieve your full potential and find your place in our welcoming and joyful community. I’ll always be a part of UTK, and so will you if you join the Rocky Top family. I hope you’ll choose to be a part of the TICKLE College of Engineering, and if you ever want to reach out or know more about our college, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Go Vols!!!