Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM spotlight:

Two AEM students are 'Innovators'


Paul Dye

Tom Jakel and Riley Rindt

Tom Jakel and Riley Rindt were working on Flight Dynamics homework together when they each got the call. Rindt and Jakel, both juniors in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota, had been selected to take one of the 34 positions in the Honeywell Innovators program, a worldwide scholarship and internship search.  The prestigious program provides Innovators scholars with a summer internship at Honeywell and a sizeable scholarship for the following fall semester.

To Jakel, both the scholarship and internship component of the program are significant, though separate in his mind.

“The scholarship itself means a lot – I’m sure there were lots of highly qualified candidates,” he said. “This indicates that my education here really means something, it is validation of working hard and of this [undergraduate] program.”

For his internship, Jakel will be traveling to Albuquerque to work on a micro-UAV project. 

“It is a tremendously interesting program, and it’s my first practical experience in the industry – it will help me figure out whether I will continue on to grad school or join the work force.”

Jakel currently works with the Department’s UAV research group, for which Gary Balas, AEM Department Head and Distinguished McKnight Professor, is an adviser.

“It is outstanding that two of our undergraduate students, Tom Jakel and Riley Rindt, were selected to receive the prestigious Honeywell Innovator scholarships,” he said. “Tom and Riley are two of our finest undergraduate students.”

Jakel has previously received the Chester Gaskell Aeronautical -- Engineering Scholarship and John and Robert McCollum Memorial Scholarship, Balas noted.

“Our undergraduates compete successfully against the top students in the world as is demonstrated by the award of these two Honeywell Innovator scholarships,” Balas said. “I appreciate all the effort that Tom and Riley have put into their education and I appreciate Honeywell's vision for making these scholarships available.”

For Riley Rindt, working in aerospace has been a major interest since a kindergarten trip to Cape Canaveral. True to this inspiration, Rindt has recently discovered his specific interest - gas turbines, a.k.a. jet engines.

Rindt said he will likely go to grad school for this specific application.

“In terms of the scholarship, school just became a little more affordable, and the internship will show me if working with turbines is I really want,” he said. “From all aspects, it’s going to be great.”

As part of the program, Rindt will work on-site at Honeywell Engines in Phoenix, Ariz. under the guidance of John Hennessey, Senior Engineering Manager in Honeywell’s Propulsion Systems Engineering division.

Rindt will be working as an intern on the Helicopter Project Engineering organization, which is responsible for the design, development and field support of gas turbine engines for helicopter applications, Hennessey said.

“In addition to the summer project, Riley will be given the opportunity to perform assignments of a general nature requiring the use of and application of standard engineering or scientific methods and tools,” Hennessey said. “He will be asked to complete basic engineering/scientific tasks and solve clearly defined problems using well-established technical methodologies.”

For more information on scholarships, visit AEM's internship resource page.

For additional information about the Honeywell Innovators Scholarship Program and how to apply, please visit the Honeywell University Relations website at

Last Modified: Wednesday, 22-Aug-2012 13:34:50 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation