Georgia Tech alumnus and Marshall Scholar Nicholas Picon, AE ’14, has been chosen by Aviation Week for inclusion in its 2014 Twenty20’s list, an honor that he will officially receive at ceremonies to be held in Arizona this November.
The distinction is awarded annually by Aviation Week, in conjunction with Ratheon, to recognize 20 up-and-coming engineering stars who are either in school or beginning their careers.
"I'm honored to receive the award just as I was honored to be nominated originally by my undergraduate advisor Dr. Marilyn Smith," Picon said in an email sent from Nepal, where he is currently hiking to the Mount Everest base camp.
"Dr. Smith was a fantastic advisor and mentor and I'm very thankful for all of her help and advice during my undergraduate career. I cannot wait to meet the other winners!"
Twenty20 candidates from across the country are drawn from a variety of majors – math, science, engineering, technology. More than 90 nominations were submitted this year. The winners are selected according to three criteria: academic excellence, research and projects undertaken, and contributions to the broader community.
In a letter announcing its decision to Picon earlier this week, Aviation Week lauded Picon for his dedication to research and for his many contributions to the Georgia Tech community. A former president of the Georgia Tech Student Government Association, Picon conducted research for both Rolls Royce and Boeing while at Georgia Tech. As a member of the GT chapter of Engineers Without Borders, he also participated in a service project in Honduras.
In November of 2013, Picon was chosen to receive the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, an honor that will allow him to pursue a graduate education in the United Kingdom. He plans to pursue an MSc degree in autonomous vehicle dynamics & control at Cranfield University. Later, he will pursue a degree in international conflict at King’s College London.
“The degrees are exactly what I want to do,” Picon said. “King’s College has a great War Studies department, and I’ve been really excited since the first time I looked it up.”
Later this fall, Aviation Week will publish a special section to recognize all 20 of this year’s honored students. On November 20, it will hold a celebratory luncheon for the recipients at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona. This will coincide with Aviation Week’s annual Aerospace & Defense Programs Conference.