ABOUT

What is WUAC?

WUAC is a community for students at the University of Pennsylvania to explore business principles in the domain of aerospace. With a direct affiliation with the Wharton Aerospace Community (an MBA alumni network boasting nearly 1000 members), we aim to prepare those interested in solving consequential business challenges for a career in aerospace and beyond through case competitions, consulting opportunities, networking events, and much more.

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THE MISSION

AMBITIONS

1. Propel aerospace forward
2. Engage and inspire Penn students
3. Push members forward in their careers 
4. Instigate a larger university response to aerospace 
5. Reconnect alumni through a new outlet
6. Disrupt the status quo

VALUES

1. Accessible and high-caliber experience to all Penn students 
2. Open environments to share new ideas
3. Unobstructed paths to achieve aspirations and dreams
4. Instigate a larger university response to aerospace 
5. Core community of dependable and passionate people looking out for one another

Meet the Exec Board

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Ethan Markwalter
Co-Founder & President

Ethan is a sophomore from Pennsburg, Pennsylvania studying Behavioral Economics in Wharton. Ethan is drawn to space because it is the closest thing in real life to Star Wars. In the future he wants to help pick up where we left off on the Apollo program and continue pushing the boundaries of what's considered possible.

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Bryce Gunderman
External Chair

Bryce is a sophomore from Rochester, New York studying Mechanical Engineering at Penn Engineering and Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Wharton School. From reading countless sci-fi novels such as the Ender’s Game series as a kid, he has always been interested in space and humanity’s potential to expand within it. He hopes to work in developing the firepower needed for the first-ever manned mission to Mars (and beyond).

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Willow Wilkes
Project Co-Chair

Willow is a rising sophomore from the Sunshine Coast, Australia, studying International Studies, Finance, and Statistics through the Huntsman Program. She became interested in the aerospace industry after attending a camp at Johnson Space Center with the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia. In the future, Willow is excited to explore the intersection between aerospace, defense, and international relations. 

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Shalika Neelaveni
Internal Chair

Shalika, part of the class of 2024, is from Northern Virginia and studying Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). Starting off stargazing with her dad as a child, she quickly developed an interest in the space. Shalika hopes to work at the intersection of mechanical and materials engineering with an application in the aerospace and defense industries.

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Helen Lortie
Recruitment Chair

Helen Lortie is a sophomore from Northern Maryland, studying Mechanical Engineering through School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). She became interested in the Aerospace industry after watching a rocket launch in 5th grade. She is a firm believer in aliens. In the future, Helen intends to focus on the implications of aerospace engineering developments, and what they mean for future international public policy.

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Wyatt Curie
Project Co-Chair

Wyatt Currie is a sophomore from Ellicott City, Maryland, studying Finance and Statistics at Wharton, minoring in Computer Science. He joined WUAC to complete his life's dream of constructing a Dyson Swarm on Mercury. In the future, Wyatt will pursue a career enabling bleeding-edge innovations in the aerospace & defense industry.

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THE DISCUSSION

Penn club culture has been a hot debate. The current norm revolves around pre-professional clubs that teeter on the edge of elitism and high selectivity. Relevant and good experience is often locked beyond a door of serious interviews where you have to play the part to get in. Even if you do make it into one of these clubs, you’ll probably end up working on irrelevant projects that lack substance and application to the real world. Qualifications from high school are taken into account, your vibe, whether or not you’re a good hang. Oftentimes these clubs are buddy buddy clubs for people who already know each other and upper-classmen who let in first-years that went to the same private high school in the Hollywood Hills as them. WUAC is turning that on its head. We are trying to redefine what it means to be a club. We’ve already gone through a rigorous admissions process, so what’s the sense in continuing that.