Shooting for the Stars!January 16, 2018
“Man has always yearned to fly like a bird. From the human-powered ornithopter to the Wright brothers’ flying machine that took off the ground in 1903 as the first ever aircraft; we have come a long way in realizing that dream. But what has remained unchanged is the deep-rooted fascination to challenge and defy gravity and to chart the sky,” said Lavanya Vijay, a 3rd year aeronautical engineering student and a budding aeronautics star.
Lavanya mentioned that the challenges she faced were not just technical in nature. Hoisting the flag high for women in the technical field, she exclaimed, “The progress made by women in various disciplines of engineering is a testament to the fact that these stereotypes are losing their strength.”
Learning to fly at Manipal
Lavanya’s eyes sparkled while talking about her recent accomplishment. She believes that it wouldn’t have been possible without AeroMIT. She said, “AeroMIT was everything I wanted in Manipal. A perfect mix of curricular and co-curricular activities. It was through AeroMIT that I found a powerhouse for my passion and an outlet to vent my creativity and skills.” When asked about what keeps her driven, she was quick to answer that the excitement of building something that can scale the skies is what keeps her motivated.
“Some lessons require you to step out of the comfort zone as well as the classroom. Sharing ideas, building prototypes and seeing them take their first flight – these are some of the best moments I’ve had with my team,” Lavanya recollected from her SAE competition experience.
AeroMIT – The perfect launchpad
“Being a part of AeroMIT was a bold, exciting and fun-filled journey,” said Lavanya. She credits her team for inculcating discipline, team spirit, and a never-say-die attitude. “Many instances arise, where the team members have different opinions, but it is essential to learn to trust and support your team through tough decisions, and look at the bigger goals that lie ahead.
On getting featured in a national ad campaign for Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Lavanaya shared how she turned into a WhatsApp celebrity overnight amongst her relatives as the messages piled up on her phone. She said, “I was extremely proud to get featured on a national ad for the Academy. I was excited about representing the institute.”
Summing up with what was the icing on the cake for her, Lavanya said “By far, my best memory was when I was jumping with my team in the last flight round of the SAE competition when our plane carried maximum payload and we knew we’d make it to the top five teams in the world.”
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