Flash Friday: Leah Benson

Senior aerospace engineering major gearing up for a NASA internship

Welcome to Flash Friday! In this series, we introduce you to fascinating student Flashes from all walks of life.

Benson on the golf course

This Flash Friday we want you to meet Leah Benson, a senior aerospace engineering major at Kent State University from Hermitage, Pennsylvania. 

Benson has been fascinated with planes ever since she was young. Going into aerospace engineering was a no-brainer for her because the major combines so many of her passions. 

“I enjoy solving problems and engineering is full of open-ended questions that need to be answered,” Benson said. “Aerospace engineering combines my favorite things: planes, space, math and physics. It is quite an unbeatable field for me.”

Along with being a full-time student, Benson also is the vice president of the Women in Engineering Club on campus and is a member of the Kent State High Power Rocketry Team in the aerostructure subsection. 

When Benson isn’t studying or participating in club activities you can find her on the golf course, as she is an avid golfer and a member of the Kent State Golf Club. 

Though the major can be challenging, Benson says she always has her sister, who is also her roommate, cheering her on through life. 

“We learned how to navigate through college together since she was home her freshman year due to COVID. I have always looked up to my sister, Maria,” Benson said. “She has taught me to be strong and overcome obstacles that present themselves and to go for anything and everything I desire. She supports me through every journey I embark on, and I hope I do the same for her.” 

Benson at BAE

As Benson works through her remaining semesters at Kent State, one moment sticks out for her. 

“One of the biggest accomplishments that I have made was receiving an internship at BAE Systems in the summer of 2023. This was the first time I gained true experience in the world of engineering,” Benson said. 

During her internship, Benson was working on projects that involved lightning testing, power variation testing and was trusted to write and assist with writing test procedures. 

“They told me near the end of the summer that I was receiving and doing work that was for an engineer, not an intern,” Benson said. “This internship was such a rewarding experience, and I cannot thank my BAE colleagues enough for preparing me for my future.” 

The future is bright for Benson, as she was recently chosen for a summer internship with NASA, where she will work on subsonic aircraft and commercial planes. Ultimately, this internship will allow Benson to continue exploring her love of flight and even help contribute to the conceptual design and research of aircraft featuring electric propulsion, which could change the landscape of flight.  

Are you a student interested in being featured in Flash Friday, or know a student who would make a great candidate? Send suggestions with name and contact information to kentstatetoday@kent.edu.

POSTED: Thursday, April 4, 2024 02:57 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 09:58 AM
Tanner Poe, Flash Communications
Courtesy of Leah Benson