I received a 360 education. It has allowed me to face the working world from a variety of perspectives.

Paula is an Alumni of the Double Degree in Architecture & Fine Arts at Universidad Europea. She is also the creator of Corsicana, a project that brings together various fields and interests: fashion, design, cinema, architectural spaces, music and collecting with a single aim: to tell stories about places. Paula and her project have been nominated for the prestigious award for design Who’s on next. 

At what point did you realise you had a passion for the world of aeronautics? 

Since I was very little, the world of aviation sparked a special interest in me. I remember as if it were yesterday when I first got on a plane and had those feelings, questions and emotions that surrounded that family trip to Paris. I suppose ever since then I have continued to soar the skies, enjoying that passion. Now, I identify a lot with the pilot in the book “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who found himself in the desert with his younger self. A curious, inquisitive, clear-sighted little dreamer. Aviation and space connect me to that childhood dream I hold inside me. That’s why I try to influence others to realise that their passions can become realities with some hard work and effort. 

What research projects did you work on during your time as a student at Universidad Europea? 

During my 4 years of studying the Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering at Universidad Europea and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where I did a study abroad programme, I worked on several projects that aimed to put knowledge into practice through a real project, as done in professional life. Many of them have been recognised and awarded in various international competitions and exhibitions: 

  • Mars Water In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Architecture: Project submitted to the 2022 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Competition. It aims to expand humanity’s presence in the solar system through the National Institute of Aerospace on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 
  • Flutter Stability Analysis of an Aircraft Wing as a Function of Damping Ratio: Classified project for the 4th Annual Research Symposium at the prestigious Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the USA. 
  • PBS AEROGEL: Startup launched together with my classmates Lucho, Miguel Ángel, Chema, Gustavo and Dani, which was awarded as one of the top 30 Venture Capital Ideas in the TREP Entrepreneurship Expo 2021. In addition, this project was selected by the Fundación Junior Achievement Spain to participate in the StartUp Programme, which aims to promote entrepreneurship in the university environment. 
  • Reducing Aviation Impact: Finalist project in the 8th PBS Competition in the Aerospace Engineering category. 
  • Best integrated project in the Aerospace Engineering category in the 8th UE STEAM School Awards. 
  • 2nd place in the 4th Annual Biotechnology Big Ideas Competition – BioBIC 

To round off this stage, I have recently been selected to form part of the Technical Unit Research for a Thriving Lunar Ecosystem (T.U.R.T.L.E.) research group, in which a small number of European researchers and young professionals from different fields will carry out studies on the expansion of humanity’s presence beyond Earth through future technologies. This project is driven by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) as part of the Space Exploration Project Group. 

What results have you achieved thanks to these projects? 

These projects have not only allowed me to work on projects that focus on real, current issues in my industry, but they have also formed the basis for skills in communication, collaboration, problem-solving and critical analysis, through working with different businesses and institutions. 

Do you think the experiential learning model favours engineering students’ acquisition of knowledge? 

Of course. The project-based methodology of the School of Architecture, Engineering and Design supports students in acquiring the level required to do highly valuable practical things that they would not have the chance to do at other universities. 

We know you have been recognised by the Dean’s List (with Honours), could you tell us a little more about what this recognition means and what you had to do to receive it? 

During my exchange programme at the prestigious Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (known as the Harvard of aviation), I was recognised as one of the top students in the Dean’s List. The Dean’s List is a recognition from the Dean of the Embry-Riddle School of Engineering for the academic excellence of those undergraduate students who achieve the highest grades (GPA: 4.00). These lists are published annually in the University registers and only a small number of students are successful. In my case, after achieving 3 Honours in the 3 subjects I studied at Embry, I was awarded this distinction for having obtained a GPA of 4.00, the highest possible grade. 

This is not just academic recognition for being in the top 1 to 5% of students at the School in terms of academic results, but also a personal merit that I undoubtedly owe to my family, teachers, friends, neighbours, classmates and people close to me who have supported me during my time at university. Feeling the affection of your loved ones, together with the highest academic and professional recognition, makes the best Christmas present. I couldn’t ask for more. 

What has been Universidad Europea’s role in driving you to be so committed to your professional development? 

Universidad Europea has given me the essential tools that I must carry in my backpack: a comprehensive education, with the leadership and professionalism required to respond to the needs of the industry, providing my values to contribute to technological progress with an entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to ethics. 

What are your goals for your future career? 

In the future I would like to continue with research and to lead teams that promote innovation and development in the field of aeronautics, defence and space. I think there’s a big future in those areas and I want to be a part of them. I want to reach for the stars. There’s nothing to hold me down. I love putting my knowledge and expertise to use by finding technological solutions that help society move forward. Elon Musk is a huge role model for me. Maybe one day I’ll set up my own SpaceX with my colleagues. That would be insane!