Senior Spotlight: Lara Hirsch ENG'20

The Sky’s the Limit

As a junior, aerospace engineering major Lara Hirsch was among the students who received a Rutgers University Bridge Builder Award for their work on STAR – the Space Technology Association of Rutgers. Hirsch’s service as STAR’s vice president was a role that embodied her impassioned commitment to leadership and campus and community involvement.

After earning her BS degree in May, Hirsch is set to launch a career as a design and analysis engineer with Boeing Defense, Space & Security in Seattle – an opportunity that stemmed from her summer 2019 internship as a Boeing propulsion engineer. The Rutgers University Presidential Scholar’s earlier experience also includes a summer 2018 internship as an engine assembly quality engineer with Pratt & Whitney. 

Hirsch, who was a member of Rutgers’ Honors College, says her fellow students were always unusually supportive. “Once in class, I was raising my hand to ask a question and the professor didn’t see me,” she remembers. “So five or so of my friends in a row all raised their hands to draw the professor’s attention to me.” 

When questioned, she is hard put to name just one favorite professor in her field. “Dr. Doyle Knight, Dr. Haym Benaroya, Dr. Edward DeMauro, Dr. Stephen Tse, Dr. Prosenjit Bagchi, and Dr. Jerry Shan all taught in a clear, organized manner, and with a positive attitude, which contributed to my love for aerospace,” she says. 

In addition to inspiring her, Hirsch claims the aerospace program’s challenging coursework helped her to grow as a person and a student. “I got through it with many friends that are lifelong. I met so many smart, diverse, and fun people,” she recalls.  “I learned to navigate a field with very few females. I know that my future is bright – even as I have so many amazing memories to look back on.”