Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student Ashley Tirado Pujols is making waves in the aerospace industry, defying gender stereotypes and becoming a role model for aspiring female engineers.
Ashley Tirado Pujols, a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, has overcome numerous challenges and shattered glass ceilings on her path to success. From being the only female in her high school robotics club to winning prestigious scholarships and internships, Pujols is proving that gender is no barrier in the pursuit of a career in aerospace engineering. Her dedication, passion, and determination have earned her recognition as a promising young woman poised to become a future leader in the industry.
Challenging Gender Norms and Leading the Way
Pujols’ journey began in high school, where she found herself as the only female in her robotics club. Despite feeling uncomfortable initially, she took on the role of club president and led her team to first place at regionals. Pujols believes that personal growth often comes from putting oneself in uncomfortable positions, and she embraced the challenge, proving her capabilities to her team and herself.
Recognizing Excellence: Women in Aerospace Foundation Scholarship
Pujols’ hard work and determination led to her being chosen as one of only five women in the nation to receive the Women in Aerospace Foundation scholarship. This merit-based award recognizes promising young women who show exceptional potential to become future leaders in the aerospace industry. Pujols’ achievement highlights her dedication to her studies and her commitment to breaking barriers for women in engineering.
Pushing Boundaries: Internship at NASA Langley Research Center
During her time at Embry-Riddle, Pujols interned at the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at NASA Langley Research Center. Her research focused on finding ways to mitigate the effects of lunar dust on ceramic-coated materials used by astronauts. Pujols’ dedication and collaborative skills impressed her mentors, and she made lifelong connections during her time at NASA Langley.
A Trailblazer at Embry-Riddle
Pujols has accumulated a remarkable list of accomplishments during her time at Embry-Riddle. She was named a NASA M-STAR Fellow and interned at NASA Langley Research Center, focusing on research for the Artemis missions. Additionally, she was awarded the Universities Space Research Association Distinguished Undergraduate for 2023. Pujols’ involvement in various research competitions and projects showcases her passion for space exploration and her commitment to academic excellence.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Pujols is not only focused on her own success but is also dedicated to inspiring and supporting other female students interested in engineering and technology. She has served as a mentor for teens through ITWomen, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase the number of women in technology and engineering careers. Pujols understands the importance of representation and wants to be a role model for young girls interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields.
A Bright Future in Aerospace Engineering
After graduation, Pujols plans to work in the aerospace industry, but she also aspires to earn her doctorate degree and become a professor. Her love for teaching and helping others stems from her own experiences as a student, and she believes that a little support can go a long way in shaping the future of engineering.
Ashley Tirado Pujols’ journey in aerospace engineering is an inspiration to all aspiring engineers, particularly women. Her determination, resilience, and passion have propelled her to achieve remarkable success, breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations. Pujols’ story serves as a reminder that with hard work, dedication, and the right support, anyone can reach for the stars and make their dreams a reality in the aerospace industry.