photo of Siddarth Kaki holding up a drone

Hometown

Round Rock, TX

Technical Area

Space Flight

What has been your biggest reward while pursuing your aerospace degree at UT?

My most satisfying reward as an aerospace engineering student at UT is the level of involvement I am able to achieve. Very few places can provide the level and quality of opportunity that UT’s aerospace program does. For example, I have been able to lead student run projects and assist with student recruitment and hiring new faculty. I also conduct research with the Radionavigation Lab, where I am currently working on developing collision avoidance capabilities and path planning for a UAV platform. The aerospace program at UT is truly rewarding.

How has involvement in student groups and/or organizations made a difference in your education?

My involvement with LUNAR Council and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Team has provided me with many valuable experiences outside of just classes. Through the LUNAR Council, I have been able to assist with student recruitment and hiring new faculty, allowing me to give back to the department and have a say in the future of aerospace engineering at UT. As the programming lead for the UAV Team, I have gained essential leadership and project management experience. In addition, the nature of my role in the UAV Team allows me to engage in interdisciplinary and experimental work, such as software-hardware integration and developing neural networks for artificial intelligence capabilities.

How do you plan to use your ASE/EM degree in the future?

After completing my bachelor’s degree here at UT, I aim to earn a master’s and doctorate degree, also in aerospace engineering. After graduate school, I aspire to apply my efforts to develop satellite and robotic missions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Along the way and beyond, my driving motive is to use and apply STEM as an equalizer and empowerer for all of humankind.

What are some things you really enjoy about living in Austin, TX?

It’s home! I have lived in the Austin area for over a decade; the most enjoyable thing about living in Austin is the presence of my loving family, friends, and of course UT!