Mar 31, 2010

National honor

A Central Lakes College student has won an expense-paid, three-day trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in a national aerospace design competition. James Oman of Brainerd next month will participate in an astronaut briefing and shadow NASA engineers working with the International Space Station as a result of his award. “This is a very significant honor. James is by far my top student,” said CLC engineering instructor John Saber. “He is driven. He has everything it takes to be an engineer.” When Oman attends the University of Minnesota this fall to work toward an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering his portfolio will include recognition as a Community College Aerospace Scholar. Oman competed with 400 applicants across the nation for the honor. Only 40 were named Scholars, and they will be on hand when he presents his Mars Advancement Laboratory project in Houston May 21-23. Students completed four Web-based assignments, maintaining a 96 average to qualify for the experience. Oman spent three months of 14-hour days developing a plausible Mars rover project as if it were a real mission to Mars. He did it all on top of a full-time load as an engineering student at CLC.