Boise State University materials science undergraduate student Jennifer Domanowski has been recognized as a Top 20 aerospace-bound engineering student by Aviation Week and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The “Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders: The 20 Twenties” awards will be presented during Aviation Week’s 60th annual Laureates Awards on March 2 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
The 20 Twenties program recognizes the accomplishments and drive of 20 science, technology, engineering and math students in their 20s who are currently enrolled in a master’s degree or bachelor’s degree program. Open to students around the globe, 20 Twenties selects the best of the best, based on their academic record, their service to the community at large and the value of their research projects.
In addition to Boise State, recipients of this year’s award hail from Columbia University, Purdue University, Georgia Tech, MIT, U.S. Air Force Academy, the University of Queensland (Australia) and more.
“Each of these outstanding students, from around the world, is making significant contributions to their fields of study – ranging from electric propulsion to hypersonics to autonomous vehicles – as well as working to make the world a better place,” said Sandy Magnus, retired NASA astronaut and executive director of AIAA, the world’s premier professional society in aerospace engineering. “Their research is shaping not only the future of aerospace, but the future of humanity, and each is uniquely worthy of our praise and this honor.”
Domanowski, who will graduate in May, has focused her research interests on thermal analysis and characterization of space flight materials, specifically polymeric materials. Her most recent project was aimed at developing a flexibly, thermally insulative material designed to protect spacecraft during reentry. The work also was being leveraged to develop fire shelters for wildland firefighters.
“I think the many challenges surrounding aerospace technology is fascinating and exciting, especially those concerned with finding the right materials that will help protect people, spacecraft and cargo as we explore the unexplored,” Domanowski said. “It has always been my passion and dream to have a career that is devoted to understanding the mysteries of our planet, solar system and universe while also benefitting humankind. Therefore, it is an incredible and unbelievable honor to be recognized as an individual who is helping to lead the pursuit of these goals.”
Domanowski has completed four internships at three different NASA centers during her Boise State career: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (Alabama), NASA Glenn Research Center (Ohio), and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Maryland), where she is part of the Pathways co-op program. She plans to work for Goddard’s materials engineering branch upon graduation.
“Jennifer is one of the most distinguished and generous students within the College of Engineering at Boise State University, and she embodies many of the qualities of Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders,” said Amy Moll, dean of the College of Engineering, who nominated Domanowski for the award. “She is academically gifted, determined, selfless and engaging, and she has turned her many experiences with NASA into opportunities to promote STEM and space education.”
Domanowski has dedicated many hours of her time to a number of programs at Boise State. She is an Idaho Space Grant Consortium Scholar, a member of the Boise State student chapter of AIAA and the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, a College of Engineering peer ambassador, a member of the Space Broncos student organization and a member of the Honors College. She has donated many hours to educating K-12 students and her peers about the importance of STEM and aerospace education.