Alumni

Aggie Engineers Design a Pathway to Mars

When NASA's Perseverence rover approached Mars on February 18, 2021, UC Davis mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) alumna Jessica Samuels ’99 and Sara Langberg ’16 watched particularly closely to see their hard work pay off. Perseverance, the largest and most advanced Mars rover to date, will explore the existence of water, launch history’s first extraterrestrial helicopter and serve as the first leg of a mission to collect Martian rock and soil samples and bring them to Earth.

Alumni Spotlight: Sara Langberg ’16

Sara Langberg ’16 used the curiosity and passion for learning things she developed at UC Davis to help NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, part of the Perseverance mission, come to life.

Langberg is an aeromechanical engineer at AeroVironment, a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems with a long history of breakthrough innovation. Since joining the company in 2016, her team has been working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the small robotic helicopter that will attempt the first powered flight on another planet.

Perseverance Lands on Mars, With Help From UC Davis

“Perseverance will get you anywhere” — and after a journey of seven months, 300 million miles and a nerve-racking seven minute plunge through the Martian atmosphere, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed safely in Jezero Crater Feb. 18. Many scientists, engineers and facilities — especially at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena — contributed to the mission, and UC Davis played a crucial role as well.

Felipe Valdez: Shooting for the Stars

Felipe Valdez received his master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) at UC Davis this past summer. Without skipping a beat, he’s off to his next journey as an aerospace engineer at the NASA Armstrong Research Center in Edwards, California.

Alumni Spotlight: Brian Peters '88

Engineering alumnus and Inneos CEO Brian Peters ‘88 is a successful leader, businessman and entrepreneur in the optics industry, but he wouldn’t lead with that. In his 25 years in business, Peters takes the most pride in leading companies with an inspired community of colleagues who have helped him carve out his place in Silicon Valley.

Alumni Spotlight: Matt Sorgenfrei ‘13

From space to the streets of San Francisco, mechanical and aerospace engineering alumnus Matt Sorgenfrei is using his control systems engineering expertise to change the way machines interact with the world.

Alumni Spotlight: Class of 1969

By Rachel Steere

The UC Davis College of Engineering Class of 1969 was a dynamic class of tight-knit engineers and several of them have stayed in contact since graduating nearly 50 years ago.

MAE Alumnus Adam Davis: Building an Engineering Career

Adam Davis graduated from UC Davis in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He is a Principal Engineer at Weston & Associates Mechanical Engineers, Inc., a full-service design engineering firm providing mechanical engineering services to architects and owners for projects throughout California.