Engineering Major Named Astronaut Scholar

May 20, 2013

Harvey Mudd College engineering major Joshua Edelman ’14 has been chosen as a 2013-2014 Astronaut Scholar by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships for college students pursuing science and technology careers.

Edelman is one of 28 students nationwide this year to receive the $10,000 award, given to rising juniors or seniors who have demonstrated initiative, creativity and excellence in their chosen field.

“Josh is motivated to meet technical challenges in ways not often seen in engineers until they have experienced years of practice. His ability to think through problems and arrive at workable solutions will serve him well as he builds his career and achieves his goal of becoming an astronaut,” said engineering Professor Ziyad “Zee” Durón ’81, chair of the Department of Engineering.

A De Pietro Engineering Fellow, Edelman participated in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative last year, helping to design, build and launch an 80.4-inch-long reusable rocket. He received the 2012-2013 J.R. Phillips Engineering Award for his work on a supersonic rocket drag analysis project. In 2009, Edelman interned at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on the Aerodynamics Team performing wind tunnel tests on the Ares V.

“I love designing, building and flying all sorts of high-power rockets,” said Edelman. “One way or another, I’m going to try to become an astronaut.”

Edelman’s contributions to the HMC community include serving as an engineering tutor for Academic Excellence and Tau Beta Pi, and serving as Case dorm co-president. He is a member of the Mudd Amateur Rocketry Club and CheeseSHMC, and also plays trumpet in the Pomona Wind Ensemble.

His plans include pursuing graduate studies and an aerospace career.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury astronauts. The foundation’s mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in these fields. The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest, merit-based monetary award given in the nation to science and engineering undergraduate students.

HMC is one of 27 institutions—and the only non-doctorate granting school— selected by the foundation to participate in the program. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million to students nationwide; $210,000 of those funds has been awarded to HMC students.