Ankit Verghese

Class of 2025
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Minor: Technology Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation
Hometown: Ramsey, NJ
High School: Ramsey High School

What Made You Decide to Attend UMD?

I chose to attend University of Maryland due to it's excellent Aerospace Engineering program. Aside from it's high rankings and prestige in the industry, UMD's Aerospace Department arguably has the best Aerospace Research Facilities in the world, with a wind tunnel, UAV test site, renowned rotorcraft and propulsion labs, and of course 1 out of the 6 Neutral Buoyancy Microgravity Simulation pools in the entire world (the only one on a university campus). Additionally, being so close to Washington DC, UMD students are closely located to pretty much all of the major players in the industry, which is extremely helpful when trying to get internships/jobs in industry. Further, I was super interested in various competitive teams at UMD, including the Design Build Fly team, Terrapin Rockets, and several others.

Best Experience with a Class or Project

The ENES100 Over-Terrain-Vehicle is definitely one of the most interesting academic projects I have taken. I really enjoy robotics, so designing and building an autonomous robot to navigate through/over obstacles & rough terrain while having to complete several missions is something I find interesting. Additionally, while I had already known how to code, CAD, and manufacture prior to taking the class, I didn't know much about wiring circuits; a skill that I have now learned a lot about and find super interesting (and super applicable) once you get into it in depth. Not to mention, having a team of like-minded peers is also pretty great -- we get along really well and often hang out together outside of team meetings.

Favorite Class In Major

ENES100: Introduction to Engineering Design

Favorite Class Out of Major

ENES210: Entrepreneurial Opportunity Analysis and Decision-Making in 21st Century Technology Ventures

Student Organizations/Extracurricular Activities

Design Build Fly 
Terrapin Rocket Team 
SEDS CubeSat 
Engineers Without Borders 
Model UN 
Engineering Dean's Student Advisory Cmte. 
Residence Hall Council President

Favorite On-Campus Event

First Look Fair

Favorite Research or Study Abroad Experiences

I am currently doing research with NASA L'Space Robotics Systems Team regarding In-Space Refuelling of Satellites and Spacecraft. While I just started a month ago, I am really enjoying the research, and a lot of UMD professors have been extremely helpful in providing subject matter expertise and project advice.

Cool Engineering Experience

Design Build Fly is full of cool engineering experiences. It's great to work in a large team with such a complex project. I am on the missions sub-team, which designs attachments specific to this year's competition missions, and formulates strategies for the team in terms of what aspects to prioritize. I just recently finished programming a simulator that takes in airplane and mission specific inputs (eg. min/max wing drag coefficient, max angle of attack, max/min lift coefficient, payload weight, wingspan, etc.) and calculates approximately how many points that airplane would score in competition. I am currently adding to this code by adding machine learning so that my computer can determine the optimal characteristics for our plane/mission strategy, and all we have to do is manufacture our plane as close to optimal as possible.