Texas State Technical College aviation students not only learned about Curiosity, but also were awarded for their curiosity during a recent aerospace symposium and awards ceremony.

The aviation program hosted Adam Steltzner, chief engineer for the Mars Curiosity rover and Mars 2020 rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on Nov. 9 to talk about his interest in space science and work expanding America’s space exploration on the “red planet.”

Steltzner said having a curiosity about the world is the most powerful tool to solve problems. He and his team of designers, engineers and testers needed a lot of inquisitiveness to figure out how to build and land a scientific rover that could survive on Mars.

“We were trying to do it inexpensively and embrace the risk,” Steltzner said.

He said members of groups should separate ideas from the people who bring them up in discussions. Steltzner said the curious mind stays agile and competitive.

“When we explore, we are asking questions about ourselves,” he said. “We are searching for the edge of us.”

Steltzner helped present aviation students program awards for their achievements.

Daniel Koyuncuoglu, 21, of Plano, received the Top Mic Award from the air traffic control program. He is scheduled to graduate with associate degrees in air traffic control and aircraft dispatch technology in 2019.

Other program award recipients were:

Top Wrench Award: Tim Ruddle, of Harker Heights (aviation maintenance).

Top Gun: Spencer Sosnowski, of Heath (aircraft pilot training technology).

Top Ops: Jessica Williams, of Killeen (aircraft dispatch technology).

Top Tech: Jason Robinson, of Temple (avionics technology).

Aerospace Student of the Year: Rick Fazollo, of Waco (aviation maintenance).

Recommended for you