photo of Meili Dubbs


Aerospace Engineering

Technical Area

Space Flight


Charlotte, NC

What made you decide to pursue an aerospace engineering degree? 

The summer following my junior year of high school, I had the opportunity to attend two of UT Austin's summer engineering programs, My Introduction to Engineering (MITE) Program and the Women in Engineering Program (WEP). In these programs I got to see the different programs in Cockrell and meet some of the faculty of the program. The programs brought in many guest speakers who talked of what they did in the field as engineers. I was especially enamored with the speaker for aerospace. The way she spoke about the opportunities of engineering fascinated me and I knew that I would love to study aerospace engineering.

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

First semester freshmen year I took Engineering Communications, a class typically slotted for Junior year. My professor was actually a Mechanical engineering professor. Her name was Dr. Berkelaar and she was an awesome professor. Not only was she always available to help with assignments during her office hours, she often would just let me come in and just talk to her. Even when she wasn't my professor anymore, I would get emails from her checking in. I could tell that she really cared about her students as individuals beyond the classroom. 

Has involvement in student groups and/or organizations made a difference in your education? if so, how?

This past year I was involved in a student org called Design, Build, Fly (DBF). This organization allowed me to dive right into doing hands on work as a freshman that I wouldn't be able to do anywhere else. I loved being surrounded by people who were fascinated by the same things that I was! I hope that this coming year I will be able to grow in my knowledge of aerospace.

Where is your favorite place to study?

I really enjoy studying in the Sanger Learning Center on the third floor of Jester during the evenings. One of the student organizations I was a part of freshman year would study there during the evenings in solidarity with one another. It was really nice because I can always ask my friends for help and they are always willing to help me with my homework. I don't like total silence when I study so having the background noise of the other people helped me be more productive than I could be in my room.

List three things that most people don't know about you.

  • I have 9 sisters.
  • I was born in China and I grew up in Charlotte, NC.
  • I don't really like chocolate.