Two AE students named Knights of St. Patrick
Each year the Knights of St. Patrick recognize eight to 15 students in the College of Engineering for their outstanding leadership, excellence in character, and exceptional contribution to the college and its students. This year, of the nine students who were selected, two are in the Department of Aerospace Engineering.
Katherine “Katie” Carroll and Sara Legg Dopico are AE seniors who maintain a strong academic record while engaging in many activities outside of the classroom and taking on leadership roles.
From her early involvement as a freshman, Carroll noticed that the Society of Women Engineers had numerous outreach events while Women in Aerospace didn’t. Because of the initiative sparked by the executive board during Carroll's freshman year, a special opportunity was born. Girls Learning Air and Space Sciences (GLASS) Day is now in its fourth year is a free, all-day Saturday program for girls in 5th through 8th grade. Participants have introductory lessons on aircraft and spacecraft related topics, and have the opportunity to participate in hands-on engineering design challenges.
In her application essay, Carroll said GLASS Day is near and dear to her heart. “I have learned a lot from organizing GLASS Day each year, especially time management skills and how to communicate effectively with families and local schools as well as officials on campus in charge of room reservations, parking, food, and much more,” she said. “And, I am very happy to say that it has now become an annual event for WIA.”
During her years at U of I, Dopico has been very active in the Illinois Space Society student organization. As a freshman, she joined the ISS hybrid rocket engine team to develop the first successful student-built hybrid engine at U of I, but the project had stalled. This year, as director of ISS, Dopico worked with her team of over 50 students and raised over $15,000 to move it forward. The goal is to enter the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition.
“Even if we aren’t able to successfully use the hybrid engine to launch our rocket this year, it is a building block for next year’s rocket,” Dopico said. “The IREC project will have members working on the next greatest feat whether it be perfecting the hybrid engine or building a liquid engine once I am gone. I am excited to see the growth of this project and the society through shared passion in one common goal.”
Learn more about the history of the Knights of St. Patrick.