The following is a Q&A with Shobhita Rajashekar, a 2021 graduate of the master’s program in astronautical engineering at USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Major and degree?
Master’s degree in astronautical engineering
What brought you to Viterbi?
The Department of Astronautical Engineering here really impressed me with the curriculum, faculty and facilities. I knew that coming here to study would open up many avenues for me, grow my network and help me push my limits.
What is your first engineering memory?
Looking through my grandpa’s tool chest to “help” my dad fix something on the car.
What are two of your biggest highlights from your time at USC?
Being a part of the NASA RASC-AL team, qualifying for the final round and presenting to a panel of judges from NASA and a few commercial space companies!
I also enjoyed my time as the ASTE senator, where I got a chance to organize a visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Astronautical Engineering students.
What are you planning to do after graduation?
Currently, I am working on a project at the Space Engineering Research Center under Professor David Barnhart. The Horizon Drive project is a laser propulsion concept based on the theory of quantized inertia. I am helping develop and assemble a test set up.
I hope to use my background in electrical engineering in the realm of space, and even potentially work in the area of human spaceflight in the near future.
What is the impact you hope to have on the world?
I hope that I can contribute to the wealth of research in the field of space exploration. I also want to spark a curiosity in science and engineering in everybody – both young and old. Making science accessible to the general public is my main aim!