Covert named aerospace engineering student marshal


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Christopher Covert has been selected as the student marshal for the aerospace engineering baccalaureate degree program at the Penn State College of Engineering spring commencement ceremony on May 5. Covert will receive a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering.

He has chosen Mark Maughmer, professor of aerospace engineering, to be his faculty escort at the ceremony.

College of Engineering student marshals are selected for their outstanding academicachievement and contributions to engineering student life.

A 2013 graduate of York Suburban Senior High School in York, PA, Covert is the son of Amea Squadrito of Reading, PA, and Raymond Covert of Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

While earning his undergraduate degree, Covert has been an active member of several Penn State Aerospace Engineering-related organizations. As a member of the Penn State Lunar Lion Team, a former Google Lunar XPRIZE competitor that aims to land the first student-built spacecraft on the Moon, Covert acted as the lead systems engineer and student team lead. During a critical and successful testing phase that led to the completion of the team’s first two technical milestones, Covert led the team to its prototype’s first successful landing.

Under the advisement of Professor Maughmer, Covert was also the leader of the Flight Test and Stability and Controls groups for Project Zephyrus, the design and fabrication of a composite human-powered aircraft, where he constructed various flight simulators and flight test equipment.

For the past two years, Covert conducted undergraduate research at the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory in the Autonomous Control and Intelligent Systems division, developing autonomous, unmanned underwater vehicle control systems.

Outside of the classroom, he was a winner of the Club Cup Championship at HackPSU in spring 2016, was nominated as one of four undergraduate students for the TEDxPSU 2017 Student Competition and presented at the 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace Conference for a paper that he published earlier in the year.

Covert’s extracurricular activities included being a teaching intern and teaching assistant for aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and women’s studies courses; serving on several student panels on STEM engagement; and volunteering his time to run scientific booths for elementary and middle school students at Exploration-U.

Following graduation, Covert will pursue a graduate degree in aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University.


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Chris Spallino

Senior Christopher Covert

Senior Christopher Covert



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569