For This Boeing Scholar, It All Adds Up at Embry-Riddle

Aerospace Engineering major and Boeing Scholar Brennan Acevedo is one of few that have a set plan in life.

Aerospace Engineering major and Boeing Scholar Brennan Acevedo
Aerospace Engineering major and Boeing Scholar Brennan Acevedo (Photo: Embry-Riddle/Connor McShane)

Excelling in mathematics from a very early age, Arizona native and Prescott student Brennan Acevedo (‘22) developed a passion for the subject and a desire to pursue a future in STEM. In high school, a summer trip with his family to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center convinced him that rockets and space were “really cool” – so cool that he decided right there and then on a career in the aerospace industry.

During Acevedo’s junior year, an Embry-Riddle representative visited his high school and spoke to his engineering class about the university. The B.S. in Aerospace Engineering program immediately piqued his interest.

"The thing that really caught my eye was the ‘#1 in Aerospace Engineering’ title,” he said. “After I decided that was the field I wanted to go into, it was an easy choice.”

In addition to the program’s prestige, Acevedo was attracted to the small class sizes and opportunity to form relationships with his professors.

“I was really excited that I would almost exclusively take technical classes that would apply directly to my major,” he said.

With the support of the Boeing Scholars program, Acevedo enrolled at Embry-Riddle in 2019. It’s no surprise that his favorite classes so far include Dynamics, Space Mechanics and Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control (SADC) – all math-intensive courses that allow Acevedo to continuously challenge himself.

“I really like all of the professors I’ve had so far,” he said. "I want to give shout-outs to Dr. Yimga, Dr. Schipper and Dr. Wall in particular.”

Outside of the classroom, Acevedo is part of the Music Club’s drumline and is an active member of the Ultimate Frisbee Club.

“To me, being a Boeing Scholar means two things,” he said. “First, that I’ve been recognized for my hard work thus far, and second, that I’m now held to a higher standard because of the title.”

Acevedo is looking forward to his internship with Northrop Grumman this fall, where he will be managing and integrating the subsystems for various systems engineering projects within the space sector.

“I’ll be mainly communicating with various teams, developing models and making sure everything works well together,” he said.

In the future, he hopes to work on the missions that are going to Mars, he said. He encourages future students to pursue their passion and to keep working hard, adding that “there’s no easy way to succeed.”

“It is my firm belief that if you work hard, you will succeed in some way,” he said. “Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but not working hard guarantees failure.”