April 11, 2023

photo of urvi alamelaUrvi Alamela, a third year student studying aerospace engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, is one of only 47 undergraduate students across the nation selected to receive a 2023 Brooke Owens Fellowship.

The fellowship nonprofit program recognizes “exceptional undergraduate women and other gender minorities with space and aviation internships, senior mentorship, and a lifelong professional network” and was created to inspire students pursuing careers in the aerospace industry. The Class of 2023 “Brookie” Fellows are the seventh class to date. Alamela joins five ASE/EM recipients from past years.

Learn more about Alamela, including where she will do her internship and the advice she offers for women pursuing STEM degrees:

What internship will you be doing as a “Brookie”? 

I will be at Blue Origin as a Systems Engineering Intern in the Advanced Development Program (ADP). 

Are you involved with any ASE/EM student organizations or groups?

As the previous Director of Operations of the Texas Rocket Engineering Lab, I focused on project management, progress reporting and representing TREL to potential and current stakeholders. As the previous Launch Vehicle Co-Lead of the Longhorn Rocketry Association, I led a small team in designing, manufacturing and testing a 17ft model rocket for the Spaceport America Cup. I was also a Peer Coach for the Women in STEM (WiSTEM) program, mentoring a small cohort of women in career development and overall advice in navigating a male-dominated industry. 

How do you think your experience as a Brookie will help shape your future career?

As a Brookie, I’ve been introduced to equally driven individuals and it’s already been creating opportunities during my internship. With a diverse pool of such accomplished and talented mentors ready to offer insight into their careers, I can easily create connections and learn about every facet of the aerospace industry. The culture of aggressive empowerment really helps in realizing and translating my big ideas into tangible steps. 

What advice would you offer to girls or other gender minorities who are interested in pursuing a degree in STEM?

My advice is to recognize any unconscious biases you may hold against yourself, especially ones garnered with lots of societal influence. Then, practice active affirmation against them. We can be our worst enemies sometimes and I assure you, everyone from the freshman to the undergraduate professor has imposter syndrome. Don’t let your fear of an opportunity gate your next big breakthrough.