B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (BSAE) major, Nishi Kelkar (’17,’21) found a great appreciation for ERAU’s flight line and active flight program. Nishi Kelkar

Aerospace Engineering Alumna Reaches Out to the Next Generation

Story by Tatiana Del Valle
Tatiana Del Valle

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Aerospace Engineering grad Nishi Kelkar, now at Garmin, has also started a company offering learning resources for STEM students.

In addition to her role as an Aviation Programs Manager, eVTOL Flight Deck Avionics, at Garmin, Eagle alumna Nishi Kelkar (’17, ’21) recently started her own company to provide critical learning resources for students interested in STEM.

Beginning her Embry‑Riddle journey as a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (BSAE) major, Kelkar found a great appreciation for Embry‑Riddle’s flight line and active flight program. This provided her the opportunity to experience firsthand what it’s like to fly a plane and observe the engineering that went into building the aircraft.

She chose the B.S. in Aerospace Engineering because of her own interest in STEM, which she sees as a tool to solve real-world problems.

“When I look at aviation, I see it as a way to help connect people,” said Kelkar. “To be able to integrate the different subsystems and then eventually create a final product that serves to transport resources and people is a fantastic opportunity.”

What Opportunities Do Undergraduates Get at Embry‑Riddle?

While completing her undergraduate degree, she was able to participate in two aerospace engineering internships at industry leading companies. Her first position was with a wind turbine manufacturing company, which allowed her to apply the principles she learned in her Aerodynamics course.

During her junior year, she interned with Collins Aerospace, and then was hired full time after she earned her bachelor’s degree as an Integration Lead. In that role, Kelkar was also the engine indication system focal for the Boeing 777X.

In October 2021, Kelkar accepted her current job at Garmin.

Earning a Master’s Degree While Building Your Career

Kelkar also completed her M.S. in Management during her time working for Collins.

“I chose management science, because when I started working at Collins Aerospace, from day one I had taken up leadership roles that I thoroughly enjoyed,” she said.

When she’s not on duty at her full-time job, she’s busy growing her new company – Project LaunchPad.

What is Project LaunchPad?

"Project LaunchPad advocates for providing content to students on topics that directly impact their well-being. They want to be pursuing internships, they want to get into universities, they want to get a full-time job. Students have a lot of aspirations and we provide them a foundation to launch and achieve their dreams."

Through the company’s growing LinkedIn and Instagram profiles, Project LaunchPad provides insight to students on financial stability, mental health awareness, career counseling and much more.

“In the next phase, we are planning to get courses up and running on subjects like financial mentoring and emotional intelligence,” she said.

In the future, Kelkar hopes to continue along the leadership and management path that she’s currently on and grow Project Launchpad to new heights to reach as many people as possible. 

Ready to reach a new elevation? Apply at Embry‑Riddle today.

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