photo of Mykaela Dunn

Major

Aerospace Engineering

Technical Area

Space Flight

Hometown

Houston, TX

What made you decide to pursue an aerospace engineering degree? 

I have had a passion for space flight since an early age and at age 6, I boldly informed my parents that I wanted to become an astronaut. I've always been a hands-on child; I deconstructed and reconstructed each and every toy I could get my hands on. As the years went by, I realized I was more interested in the designing of aircraft and propulsion systems. Ultimately, pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering allows me to combine my curiosity and love for space travel.

Who has been your most influential ASE or EM professor and why? 

Dr. Brandon Jones has been my most influential ASE professor thus far. Not only is he knowledgeable in his field, but he is willing to work with any and every student that steps through his door. Although I struggled in his class, he never gave up on me, and it's extremely encouraging to know that your professor is on your side. 

Has involvement in student groups and/or organizations made a difference in your education?

Although I am involved in several ASE organizations, I took the time to find something a bit outside of my comfort zone, something that I could take part in to give me a bit of relief from school. I decided to join The Longhorn Hellraisers, a well-known co-ed spirit group. Although we are listed as an organization, I think of us more as a family. I have developed memorable friendships for years to come, and the front row seats are a huge perk! 

How do you plan to use your ASE/EM degree in the future? 

My end goal is to work somewhere in the field of propulsion. I would like to focus on creating greener and cleaner running propulsion systems in order to ensure the preservation of our world and space environment. A friend and I are also in the beginning stages of developing a STEM-based non-profit organization geared towards underprivileged grade school children. 

Where is your favorite place to study?

My favorite place to study on campus is the newly built Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC). The architecture is amazing and the study rooms are spacious and resourceful. There is always a plethora of engineers of all disciplines and whiteboards definitely aren't hard to come by!

What are some things you really enjoy about living in Austin, TX?

I absolutely love the music atmosphere and the hundreds of food options. I have attended over a dozen concerts since my freshman year, and I have eaten at just about every restaurant on South Congress. There is SO much to explore around the city, and I truly believe there's something here for everyone.