WAA Team Events Contact
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Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics

About Us

Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics (WAA) was founded in 2016, and is dedicated to fostering a sense of community among women in fields related to aviation and space, improving diversity within the department of aerospace engineering, and helping members build both personal and professional connections in the industry.

You should join WAA if you are interested in:

WAA also hosts an annual Aerospace conference which features amazing talks, wonderful panels, networking, and more! More information can be found on the 2021 Conference page.


Meet the Board for the 2021 calendar year!


President: Catherine Philpott

Catherine is studying Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Catherine is currently interning on the Constellation Operations and Automation team for Starlink at SpaceX. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, photography and football. Her favorite part about WAA is how empowering it is to be surrounding by such amazing women and the camaraderie that has been formed as a result.


External Vice President: Sara Casaletto

Sara is a senior studying Aerospace Engineering and is interested in space systems. She interned at Northrop Grumman Space Systems working as a software engineer. Outside of work, she loves to read, explore nature, and meet new and interesting people. Her favorite part about WAA is the supporting and empowering community.


Internal Vice President: Emily O'Connell

Emily is a junior studying Aerospace Engineering. She looks forward to creating an empowering and inclusive environment within the field. She is currently completing a Systems Engineering co-op at Collins Aerospace in their Avionics Business Unit. Outside of class she enjoys spending time with friends, reading, meeting new people, and exploring new places.


Membership Officer: Julia Weiss

Julia is a sophomore studying Aerospace Engineering and pursuing a minor in Computer Science. Her passion to support women and other minorities in this field stems from attending Girls in STEM programs throughout her youth. Outside of school she enjoys spending time with her friends and exercising through yoga and running.


Co-Conference Chair: Maddy Eichenberg

Maddy is a junior majoring in aerospace engineering. Outside of school, I work with kids as a tutor, swim teacher, and camp counselor. When I’m not studying, I spend my time reading fantasy novels! I’m super excited for the 2021 Women in Aerospace conference and can’t wait to share my love for aerospace with women across the country!


Co-Conference Chair: Maddie Purvis

Maddie is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying Aerospace Engineering and minoring in Space Science Engineering. Her favorite part about WAA is how welcoming and helpful the community is, and she is very excited to plan the 2021 conference. In her free time, she loves to crochet, solve the NYT Daily crossword, and watch movies.


Public Relations: Sam Sharma

Sam is a senior studying Aerospace Engineering double minoring in MDP and Electrical Engineering. She manages this website, social media, publicity, and advertisement. This summer, Sam is interning with SSAI/NASA GSFC. Outside of work, schoolwork, and WAA, Sam enjoys origami, hanging out with her family and friends, and dancing. Her favorite part of WAA is the community and support network.


Outreach Chair: Monica Khalique

Monica is a current sophomore studying Aerospace Engineering on the astronautics track with a minor in Space Science Engineering. She’s very passionate about advocating for women/other underrepresented groups within the aerospace industry. Outside of school, Monica enjoys cooking, spending time with friends, and playing the piano.


Treasurer: Kavya Saravanan

Kavya is a sophomore studying Aerospace engineering. Engaging and supporting minorities in the Aerospace Industry is a cause she is very passionate about, and she is very excited about the opportunities that WAA presents to support this mission. In her free time, she loves re-reading Harry Potter (as well as many many other books) , making Spotify playlists for her every mood, cheering on the Michigan Basketball Team, and spending time with her friends!


Mentorship Chair: Ericka Mendez Velazquez

Ericka is a junior studying Aerospace Engineering. Ericka is currently interning with the Field Test and Compliance Team for the Electronics, Firmware and Test sector at Tesla. She is very excited in creating an inclusive environment within the Aerospace department through the use of Mentorship groups. Outside of school, she enjoys riding her bike and spending time with friends and family.


Due to COVID-19, WAA does not have any upcoming in-person events. Please email waa-officers@umich.edu if you would like to be virtually involved with WAA. The opportunities we have are listed below. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! See you in the Fall!

Coffee Chats

This is an opportunity for our members to get to know each other better! We will have you fill out a form and match you with someone else in our database (or if you would like to reach out to a specific person, we can provide their information to you!). Then feel free to organize a time to chat with that person and catch up / ask quesstions / get to know your fellow WAA members!

Book Club

WAA is organizing a virtual book club! We have read "Becoming" by Michelle Obama and several other inspiring books. Please let us know if you are interested in joining

Virtual Outreach events

Remote ways to give back to the community are available. Some examples are virtually mentoring Pioneer High School's Rocketry Team, virtual Aerospace Day, and assisting K-12 kids with space-based projects.

Contact Us

For general questions regarding Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Michigan, and the types of events we hold, please feel free to contact our president, Catherine Philpott, at "cphi@umich.edu".

For questions regarding corporate sponsorship opportunities, sponsorship packages, and/or the structure of corporate involvement at the Women in Aerospace Conference, please email our External V.P. Sara Casaletto at "saracasa@umich.edu".

For specific questions or to speak/host a workshop at the conference, please feel free to contact our Conference Co-Chairs, Maddy Eichenberg and Maddie Purvis, at "waaconference@umich.edu".

For all other inquires, please contact us at