McKenna Davis ’18 Wins National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

student standing outdoors on a college campus

Students continue to win national awards after they have graduated from Rhodes. McKenna Davis ’18, a physics and mathematics alumna, won the Goldwater Scholarship in 2017 when she was a junior. Now as an aerospace engineering graduate student at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Davis has won the highly competitive National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship to further her studies.  

According to the UCLA site, Davis researches electrospray thrusters—a form of electric spacecraft propulsion used for very small, precise movements that features many charged fluid jets organized in a gridded array.

Even as an undergraduate, Davis’ research was published by the Electrostatic Society of America and by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. While at Rhodes, she also had the opportunity to attend the Committee on Space Research Symposium in South Korea, and she received a scholarship from the Women in Aerospace Foundation, which encourages women to pursue careers in the aerospace field.