Reaching new heights: Chandrasekhar earns degree in mechanical engineering

May 06, 2024

Ajay Chandrasekhar is building upon his family’s Mizzou legacy. Both of his parents work in the biological sciences division of the College of Arts and Science. And now, he is graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in aerospace engineering from Mizzou.

“I am proud to be a Tiger because I am able to be part of this really diverse community here on campus,” he said. “I am surrounded by other like-minded students I have grown and developed with over the past four years, along with supportive professors and staff.”

Chandrasekhar’s experience as a Mizzou Engineering student has included hands-on lab experiences, volunteer activities, lifelong friendships and more. He’s taking everything he learned here with him as he pursues a graduate degree in aerospace engineering with a specialization in fluid mechanics.

Read on for a Q&A with Chandrasekhar about his Mizzou experience.

Why did you choose Mizzou?

I was born and have been in Columbia my entire life. My dad is a biology professor at Mizzou and my mom helps in his lab, so I have been on campus as early as I can remember. I also have a younger brother who is a freshman business major at Mizzou. I chose Mizzou because of the great engineering program and academics, and because of the connection I have built with the campus and town from being brought up here.

What made you interested in mechanical engineering?

I have always been interested in designing things, as well as having a fascination for airplanes and rockets, which is why I minored in aerospace engineering. Engineers are at the forefront of innovations in technology. I want to be able to play a part in that, which Mizzou Engineering has enabled me to achieve.

What’s your favorite thing about your degree program?

There are many aspects of my degree program I enjoyed, especially the aerospace engineering electives, which cover so many interesting topics. We also have had opportunities with many hands-on experiences, from the lab classes to capstone, where my team had the opportunity to collaborate with a company here in town for our project.

How did you get involved at Mizzou?

While at Mizzou, I have been involved in helping organize many educational camps and events for K-8 students hosted here on campus. I have worked at camps in collaboration with Dr. Kevin Gillis and a high school robotics team here in Columbia called Army Ants. Some of these camps include the summer Programmable Robotics Overnight Camp and the Build an Underwater Robot Camp.

I will continue to help again with these camps this coming summer even after graduating. I chose to get involved with them because I really enjoy working with kids and inspiring them to pursue STEM fields later on.

How has Mizzou Engineering helped you achieve your goals?

Mizzou Engineering has helped me achieve my goals by having a well-rounded curriculum for mechanical engineering and helping me develop a variety of skills from programming to computer-aided design. In addition to that, we are provided with lots of support for internships and job searches through resume and interview workshops, as well as career fairs each semester.

What’s next for you after graduation?

After graduating I will continue my education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a graduate student in aerospace engineering with a specialization in fluid mechanics. I am excited to continue building upon the skills I have developed at Mizzou.