Shah Joins Ranks of Knights of St. Patrick


Aerospace Engineering undergraduate Akash Shah
Aerospace Engineering undergraduate Akash Shah
Akash Shah is the latest Aerospace Engineering student to join the ranks of the College of Engineering Knights of St. Patrick, one of the highest honors Engineering students can achieve.

He and nine other students chosen for their leadership, excellence in character, and exceptional contribution to the College and its students, will be knighted March 15.

In addition to his aerospace engineering degree, Shah is earning a bachelor’s in computer science and a minor with the Hoeft Technology and Management Program. His activities have included expanding the Illinois Space Society’s (ISS) educational outreach efforts and technical projects, helping international students in their career pursuits, and directing the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee (DSAC).

Shah, now a senior, became involved with ISS as a freshmen setting up exhibits for Engineering Open House. He helped put together the organization’s 2013 Illinois Space Day, drawing over 300 visitors to campus, and arranged for Kent Rominger, former astronaut and current Vice President at aerospace company ATK, to speak there. Shah also has developed a newsletter for the organization, and has arranged for the society’s attendance at the Goddard Memorial Symposium every year.

Since his freshman year Shah has been involved with NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative (USLI). He worked with the Technology Entrepreneur Center to fund the USLI team’s travel for its final rocket launch at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He is the team leader for this year’s NASA Student Launch and is working to develop three scientific payloads on-board a high powered rocket, as part of the Space Launch System research program.

A native of India, Shah worked with Engineering Career Services (ECS) to organize a workshop to familiarize international students with the career search process in the United States, available resources and self-promotion. He helped ECS to establish monthly meetings with DSAC, which he directed.

Through DSAC, he helped form Undergraduate Advisory Boards to represent each of the 12 departments within the College. Furthermore in that leadership role, Shah helped organize an undergraduate research workshop that attracted 400 students.

Shah is a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program and is a James Scholar. His honors also include

  • Pariveda Android Development Challenge, First Place, 2011
  • British Petroleum: “Professional Responsibility” Strategy Competition, First Place, 2011
  • Class of 1941 Memorial Excellence Scholarship
  • Ernst & Young Innovation Award
  • AE Dale S. Margerum Award
  • Anne E. Suratt Memorial Scholarship
  • Visine: Students with Vision Scholarship
  • AE H.S. Stillwell Problem-Solving Scholarship
  • Engineering Council Outstanding Student Contribution Award
  • Edith and Harry Darby Leadership Scholarship
  • Agency for Science Technology and Research Youth Scholarship 2009