Two Prescott ERAU Students Among ‘Best in the World’

Aviation Week Network named two students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus among the top 20 “Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders” in the world.

Alexis Hepburn, a 2020 honors graduate from Seattle, and Julia Mihaylov, a 2019 graduate from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, both were majors in the aerospace engineering program led by Dr. Ron Madler, the college’s engineering dean.

Only 20 students worldwide were selected for the recognition, and nominees were submitted by 49 universities representing seven nations.

According to Aviation Week Network, “Only a very select group of talented individuals in their 20s who are on a course to change the face of the aerospace and defense industry are named each year.”

The global aviation, aerospace and defense recognition program is administered in partnership with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Hepburn, a member of the Eagles Space Flight team and active in the STEM outreach program, initiated Embry-Riddle’s first on-campus electric propulsion research. She accepted a position with Raytheon Missile Systems following her graduation this year.

Milhaylov, a first-generation Bulgarian-American, was the first in her family to attend a university in the U.S. She has been hired by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory while she is completing a master’s degree in space systems engineering. Her research directly aided JPL’s flight project Psyche.

Chancellor Anette Karlsson at the ERAU-Prescott campus said the two honorees are “outstanding students who took full advantage of the opportunities provided by ERAU. They are not only book smart but also hard-working and dedicated to their profession. I look forward to seeing them excel in their future endeavors.”

Another ERAU student, David Zuehlke at the ERAU Dayton Beach campus, also was named among the top 20 in the world.

ERAU President Barry Butler said: “Placing three Eagles among the top 20 world honorees is a point of pride for the university. It is a positive reflection on the quality of our programs, resources and faculty.”