LeBow Sophomore Selected for Prestigious NASA Program

LeBow sophomore Mathilde Berger is a member of a Drexel undergraduate team that has been accepted to participate in Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage (RASC-AL), a prestigious annual student competition that will be held in Cocoa Beach, Fla. in June. The competition, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), aims to challenge engineering students to perform research and design projects based on problems and themes provided by NASA experts.

Berger, the only non-engineering student on the team, earned her place as a result of her work with the STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars program, sponsored by Drexel’s Pennoni Honors College, with the objective of getting high-achieving first-year students involved in research. Berger’s STAR Scholars work, overseen by LeBow’s Neil Desnoyers, assistant clinical professor in LeBow’s decision sciences department, and with the assistance of Dr. Jin Kang, associate teaching professor at the College of Engineering, involved investigating the legal, political and economic challenges facing space debris remediation and proposing solutions to these problems. “The Business and Engineering program aims to build leaders who can bring an interdisciplinary focus to real-world problems,” Desnoyers says. “Ms. Berger is an outstanding example of the type of student LeBow College of Business and the Business and Engineering program can produce.”

Berger presented her work at the STARS Scholars Summer Showcase in August 2011, and subsequently at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Young Professional, Student and Education Conference (YSPE-11) Region 1 conference held at Johns Hopkins University in November 2011. This led to her participation with the Drexel team that was selected to take part in the RASC-AL program. The team will need to solve “an engineering problem that is being impeded by the lack of appropriate policy instruments,” Desnoyers explains.

 “Ms. Berger’s work last summer has allowed her to bring knowledge about the inadequacies of current policy instruments to the attention of the project team. I am confident that she and the rest of the team will represent Drexel extremely well.”

Berger also served as conference chair for the National Organization for Business and Engineering (NOBE) 4th annual national conference, organized by the Drexel’s NOBE chapter. The conference, held for the first time on Drexel’s campus, took place February 24-26, 2012. Berger’s success in helping organize the NOBE conference resulted in her election as president of Drexel’s NOBE chapter during the event.