Generation Orbit Summer 2017 Intern Spotlight

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As summer winds down and the fall semester begins, we wanted to take a minute to recognize the four amazing students that interned with us this summer semester: Philippa Pinnington, Brandon Tehan, Michaela Spaulding, and Jeffrey Allar. They are all equally as enthusiastic about aerospace as they are talented and will certainly make great contributions to our field.


From left to right: Michaela Spaulding, Brandon Tehan, Philippa Pinnington, Jeffrey Allar


Philippa first became interested in aerospace just two years ago, while working on fluid mechanics during her study abroad semester in Germany. This compelled her to take a few aerospace classes once she returned, eventually leading to a declared major in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on hypersonics. Brandon attributes his love of aerospace to a Physics teacher he had in high school who had a major passion for space. His teacher found creative ways to integrate aerospace concepts and trivia into the Physics coursework, sparking Brandon’s passion as well. Michaela loved astronomy as a kid and has always been fascinated with the solar system. In 9th grade she discovered engineering and her love for aerospace finally had an outlet. She also gives a lot of credit to the 1998 movie, Armageddon, where a group of unlikely characters join NASA to save the world from impending asteroid doom. Along those same lines, Jeffrey traces his love for aerospace to Star Wars. The franchise was a childhood favorite for him, from the books and movies to everything in-between. He began his college career in Astrophysics, but changed to Aerospace Engineering to be more involved in building space craft.

Thinking back on her internship with GO, Philippa greatly values the knowledge she gained and the variety of tasks she worked on, noting that “being able to work in multiple fields of aerospace engineering has been really rewarding.” She thoroughly enjoyed the accomplishment of finishing projects that directly impact the company and advises future interns to not be afraid to ask for projects on something outside of their skillset. Like Philippa, Brandon also feels that one of the best aspects of working at GO has been the diversity of work he contributed to. He appreciated the small company vibe of GO and took great pride in the process of “taking a project from concept to actually making it.” To him, working on both the design and build of the projects he was given was an important part of his internship. He urges future interns to have an open mind and be willing to go outside of their comfort zones. Michaela added that it’s a good thing to ask tons of questions. She suggested that incoming interns should “take a step back and realize that you are there to learn.” For Michaela, one of the great things about working at GO was the variety of skills she picked up along the way. She feels as though she learned more in the first two weeks of her internship than she has in school and likes the fact that the projects she worked on were critical and useful to GO. To Jeffrey, one of the major advantages of working at GO is the privilege to sit next to extremely experienced people who are experts in their field. Jeffrey definitely appreciated the fact that “anything I need to know I can ask.” He feels that the work he was given was not just menial tasks meant to keep him busy, but were meaningful to GO and left a lasting impact.

Now that her internship has ended, Philippa has returned to the University of Arizona where she will begin work on her Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. Brandon is back at the University of Florida and plans to graduate with his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering this December. Michaela is continuing to work towards her Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University, where she will graduate in May of 2018. Jeffrey graduated with his Master’s degree in Astronautical Engineering from the University of Southern California before he began this internship. We are excited to say that he has accepted a position with us and is now our newest Propulsion Engineer. We wish the best of luck to all four of our interns, and gladly welcome Jeffrey to our team!