Langley Aeronautics Academy – Email application by November 9, 2014



To apply, visit and search OSSI for this opportunity: 

Spring Semester Aeronautics Academy
Langley Research Center

Mentor: Elizabeth B Ward


The OSSI deadline to apply is NOVEMBER 9, 2014 but applicants will also need to email a separate essay before Nov 9, 2014. See below for how to email your essay. Students will complete an OSSI application and profile prior to selection.

Students will be notified of selection on or before Dec 7, 2014.

The 2015 summer academy project will be posted here, likely around first week of December.

Read anecdotes from two of the 2014 Aero Academy Students.

After applying through, all qualified applicants must still submit a one to two page essay (see below for essay details)

About the Aeronautics Academy at Langley

The NASA Aeronautics Academy at Langley offers an intense, integrated, multidisciplinary opportunity for students with career aspirations in the national aeronautics enterprise. The academy helps prepare aspiring young professionals for employment in aeronautics by providing opportunities for direct science and engineering experience with an awareness of the complex managerial, political, financial, social, and human issues faced by current and future aerospace programs.

The Aeronautics Academy students receive training in integrated systems research, project management, leadership, teamwork and multidisciplinary collaboration. Students work as a team on a multifaceted problem as guided by professional scientists and engineers. In addition to students’ exposure to NASA, they also gain broader exposure to aeronautics through visits to industry and other engineering facilities.

The academy experience includes a series of subject matter expert lectures and/or short courses, lunches with senior leaders, and focused discussions with program and project engineers. Participants must be enrolled in Aeronautical, Aerospace Engineering or other related engineering disciplines. This is an intense, rigorous program for the entire team. It is not the typical 9 to 5 research experience where individuals work one on one with a mentor.

At the completion of the project, students present their findings orally to NASA leaders at center forums and via video conferencing and/or in person to NASA Headquarters or other NASA centers. During the course of the academy, students may have opportunities to visit other NASA, industry or federal laboratories. A NASA Technical report or professional conference technical paper may be published from the project.

The 2015 spring semester project is as follows: A small multidisciplinary team of students will design an autonomous unmanned aerial system (UAS) for small package delivery inside a defined volume. As an interim step toward the package delivery, the students will develop and demonstrate a small UAS capable of autonomous functions, including but not limited to, the identification of a target object based on known parameters and independent tracking of said object as it moves inside a closed indoor space. As part of the academy, students collaborate with Langley engineers, attend lectures, participate in leadership discussions, and document their research with oral and written communication. Students will experience a real-world integrated systems research environment. Students will communicate regularly with NASA engineers and managers, will document their work with both oral and written presentations, and if funds allow, may visit other NASA or other federal facilities.  Students will visit many research facilities located on or near Langley Research Center.  Students will share an apartment with one other academy student.  Housing is provided at no cost to the students.

Desired Attributes of Applicants:

  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully as part of a team.
  • Leadership qualities and a desire to pursue a career in aeronautics.
  • College/Academic Level at time of Internship or Fellowship: 3rd year undergraduate (Junior) through second year graduate student (Community College students in a 2+2 transfer program may apply if they will have completed the first two years and are enrolling in the third year prior to August 2015)
  • Academic Disciplines/Majors – Computer Science; Engineering majors Aerospace/Aeronautical/Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation/ and Systems Engineering.  Related majors considered, e.g. Mechatronics.


GPA 3.2 minimum, U.S. citizenship. Minimum age of 18.  Junior or senior undergraduate or first or second year graduate, high academic standing, and desire to pursue aeronautics and related disciplines as a career. Veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Applications should be submitted to no later than Nov 9, 2014 deadline and separate essays should be received no later than Nov 9, 2014, via email to  SUBJECT LINE:  SPRING ACADEMY

Email should include the essay as an attachment.

Essay should be as described below.


In addition, because OSSI does not always have two recommendations, the student should request two letters of reference from faculty acquainted with their character and academic ability.  The letters of reference should be emailed from the faculty directly to Dr. Ward,  Subject line for faculty to send in their recommendation:  Faculty Recommendation, Last name of student

Note to married students:   This academy is a 16 week experience, requires the students’ full attention, and sharing an apartment with one other academy student.  Married students would not be able to bring their spouses; however, extenuating circumstances may be considered on a case by case basis.

Dates for Academy: Jan 20 to May 1, 2015

ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS (one to two pages max): 

Describe in first person your reasons for wanting to participate in the Aeronautics Academy at Langley Research Center during the spring semester.  Include your experience as a member of a team of peers; any leadership experience of teams at school or at work; what you believe you can contribute to the project; briefly describe your extra curricular activities; if you are a person with disabilities, please describe your physical or other limitations that may impact your ability to fully participate during a typical 40 hour week, M-F, or in travel with your team if travel is made available.


NASA Langley Aeronautics Website –

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