Building the Future
College of Aeronautics and Engineering

Passionate About Aerospace Engineering

Sydney Bihn began her Kent State experience as a middle childhood education major with a concentration in math and science. Midway through her junior year, she chose to switch to aerospace engineering. “I just had this feeling inside that maybe there was something else I would be passionate about, enjoy more and also be incredibly challenging,” she said. In May 2020, she became the first woman to graduate from Kent State’s Aerospace Engineering Program, becoming a third-generation engineer in her family.

It all clicked for her while shadowing several professional engineers. “This could be a career path that would allow me to use my passion for mathematics and also challenge me to apply it to the real world,” Sydney said. “I absolutely made the right choice by switching majors because I have had some of the most incredible experiences in my life.”

“As women in the industry, we have self-doubt, but we just need to reflect on our own achievements and be proud of them and use that as a confidence booster,” she said.

In 2019, Sydney was selected as a Brooke Owens Fellow, a program that provides women who are passionate about aerospace with internships in top companies and mentors who are executive-level women in the industry. “Having this network with women in engineering, and in aerospace engineering in particular, is incredible,” she said. “And the opportunities and connections with people across the country who work on really cool projects has been a game changer for me.”

“You need to take risks and put yourself out there in order to show that you are capable, talented and deserving of the title of engineer,” Sydney said. “It’s very exciting to be in an industry where there are so many new challenges to accomplish things that just have never been done before. And the opportunity to be a part of a team that could do something that’s never been done before is the dream of an engineer.”

She has been employed in the space systems department at Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense company in Gilbert, Arizona, since graduation.