Astronaut scholars tour Goddard Space Flight Center

Future biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers and astronauts toured the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Friday, September 15 with Engility, a company that continues to provide brain power behind many U.S. space missions.

Forty-five college students from all parts of the country were named this year’s scholarship winners by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. The scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellence in engineering, natural or applied science, technology, or mathematics and plan to advance research in their chosen field. Engility partners with the Foundation to support and mentor Astronaut Scholars and the scholarship program.

Astronaut Scholars examined a “clean room,” an environment free from dust and other contaminants, where the James Webb Space Telescope was built. They also visited the Satellite Servicing Projects Division.

“In the future, I hope to exist at the boundary between my two loves, physics and technology, pursuing a PhD in physics with a focus on computing,” said Steven Stetzler, astronaut scholarship recipient and Computer Science senior at the University of Virginia. "I do physics because it satisfies a deep and fundamental curiosity about the universe that I have. Physics doesn't give us the answers to all of these questions, but at the very least it gives us a starting point, an approach with which to tackle these enormously difficult and philosophical quandaries.”

Engility President and CEO Lynn Dugle said, “What was once fueled by motivation to one-up other countries, our determination in the space industry is now driven by commercial new entrants, the exciting new vision of space tourism, the need for uncontested access to space for defense and commercial purposes and by continued international collaboration.”

“The best way to continue our extraordinary strides forward from the last 50 years in space exploration and national security is to continue to cultivate, support and mentor the bright and ambitious young minds moving into our industry,” added Dugle.

Rick Armstrong, who supports the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation as a member of their Board of Trustees, said about his father, astronaut Neil Armstrong, “[My dad] said of himself, ‘I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer.’” Rick Armstrong continued, “If you asked the nominees whether they think like engineers, they would probably ask you to more specifically define what that means, as any engineer would!”

Engility, a pioneer in the harnessing of space to enhance national security, has been a key player in U.S. space missions since the 1960s. The company now leads engineering across the defense and intelligence communities and supports the country’s most challenging space missions, advises space customers on high-level policy and strategy and provides a full range of technical and scientific capabilities.

About Engility

Engility (NYSE: EGL) is engineered to make a difference. Built on six decades of heritage, Engility is a leading provider of integrated solutions and services, supporting U.S. government customers in the defense, federal civilian, intelligence and space communities. Our innovative, highly technical solutions and engineering capabilities address diverse client missions. We draw upon our team’s intimate understanding of customer needs, deep domain expertise and technical skills to help solve our nation’s toughest challenges. Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, and with offices around the world, Engility’s array of specialized technical service offerings include high-performance computing, cybersecurity, enterprise modernization and systems engineering. To learn more about Engility, please visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.