Even amidst a challenging global landscape, SEAS seniors are wrapping up their undergraduate careers and preparing to enter impactful professional roles in just a few short weeks. Later this month, Steven Brunetto ‘20, who is majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace engineering, will begin working as a systems engineer at Raytheon Technologies, IIS division in Aurora, CO. “SEAS gave me a great foundational knowledge to begin to work at an organization like Raytheon,” Brunetto says. “I have also had opportunities that I don’t think are even possible to get at any other engineering school.”
During his time on campus, Brunetto was involved with a number of different campus organizations, particularly the GW chapter of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), for which he served as president as a junior, and the GW Innovation Center (GWIC).
It was being a part of AIAA that prompted Brunetto to change his major from civil engineering and instead focus on the aerospace industry. Under Brunetto’s leadership, membership in the GW chapter grew, and the group became more involved in aerospace-related events in the DC area. “During my senior year, I led the AIAA Design/Build/Fly team and participated in the competition, building a successful aircraft to meet this year’s competition requirements. My team and I expanded to include underclassmen in the project and provide them exposure to the engineering design process much earlier on,” Brunetto says. “Leaving the student branch of AIAA now, the organization is much larger, stronger and has a lot more people involved and invested in developing the organization at GW,” he reflects.
Working with the GWIC, “I have worn a lot of hats,” Brunetto explains, having overseen the expansion of the makerspace, guided student groups, and much more before taking on a more administrative role. “Being a part of the GWIC has really diversified my engineering education, increasing my exposure to many different issues. It has taught me a lot about new ways to approach critical thinking and creative problem solving,” he says. “My favorite part about working at the GWIC has been all the people that I’ve had the opportunity to meet. I’ve gotten to meet astronauts, ambassadors, CEOs, and even Jane Goodall.”
Brunetto says that his time at SEAS “has opened my mind to all the possibilities and opportunities that are out there. It’s given me the chance to learn how to advocate for myself and expand my professional networks to find what the next step is for me. Leaving SEAS, I feel confident in my education and preparedness and eager to see what is next.”