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Final - Photo by Michelle LaVigne/Creative Services
Left to right, senior mechanical engineering major Austin McElderry of Elburn IL, senior mechanical engineering major Jordan Pugliese of Grayslake, IL, and junior electrical engineering major Chris Edwards of Sandwich, IL, hold a portion of their display for their project in “SAE Aerospace Design” at Undergraduate Research and Artistry day. The process of completing their project held several challenges and learning experiences for them beyond the field of aerospace: how to run an organization, the importance of teamwork and one aspect they hadn’t thought of, administrative work. “We didn’t realize how much work some of the business side of things is,” Edwards said. Working on a project that was started on their own, where they led the charge, proved rewarding. “It gave us a lot more hands-on experience and an opportunity to give ourselves direction,” Edwards said. Pugliese said they found they tended to even be harder on themselves than their professors. With minimal resources and no experience in the aerospace field, Pugliese said that this led to a lot of “MacGyvering.” But with all its obstacles, there was a unanimous feeling of educational and personal gain among the team. “I feel that especially when you’re coming to NIU, you should definitely join a team,” Edwards said. “It helps in every aspect of society and school.”

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