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Rensselaer Students Receive Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

Rensselaer Students Receive Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

By Torie Wells

May 19, 2020

Two graduate students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have received Vertical Flight Foundation scholarships for 2020. The awards, totaling $100,000, are given annually to “the world’s most talented engineering students interested in vertical flight.” According to the organization, only 29 students — worldwide — received this honor this year.

Richard Healy, a doctoral student in aerospace engineering, has received the Robert Head Scholarship, named in honor of the engineering pioneer.

Michael McKay, a doctoral student in aerospace engineering, has received the Jeff Pino Scholarship, named for the retired Master U.S. Army Aviator. McKay is a two-time recipient of a Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship.

Both students will be recognized at the Vertical Flight Society’s Grand Award Banquet in October. They are advised by Farhan Gandhi, an endowed chaired professor of aerospace engineering and the director of the Center for Mobility with Vertical Lift (MOVE).


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Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.