Two Michigan Aerospace Students Awarded Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) Scholarships

Congratulations to undergraduate student Lucie Kovarik and PhD student Jasmine Chang

Lucie Kovarik (left) Jasmine Chang (right)

Michigan Aerospace would like to congratulate two University of Michigan students, undergraduate student Lucie Kovarik and PhD student Jasmine Chang, for being awarded 2024 Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) Scholarships from the Vertical Flight Society (VFS). The VFF scholarships are merit based and awarded to students who demonstrate an interest in pursuing engineering related careers in vertical flight technology. Each year, the scholarship is open to full time students attending a university or college from anywhere in the world. 

VFS will honor this year’s VFF scholarship recipients, at the Awards Breakfast Banquet during the 80th Annual Forum on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at the Palais des congrés Montréal. There they will receive their scholarship checks and certificates honoring them and their hard work.


Lucie Kovarik has been awarded the Joseph P. Cribbins Scholarship, honoring the individual who had one of the most influential and long-term impacts on US Army Aviation logistics in the 20th century. Kovarik is interested in pursuing research which focuses on electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) and hydrogen-powered aircraft in hopes of pursuing a career in the decarbonization of the aerospace industry.

“Receiving the Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship is a great honor that I am exceptionally grateful for. It’s an affirmation of my passion for advancing the frontiers of aviation, particularly in the realms of hydrogen-powered aircraft and eVTOL. The scholarship is a true testament to the support I’ve had from the university and the broader aerospace industry. I look forward to continuing my aerospace studies and club engagement in my next two years at Michigan,” Kovarik said.

As a sophomore studying aerospace engineering with a minor in sustainability, Kovarik has focused her attention towards the Michigan Sustainability Applications for Aerospace Vehicle Engineering (M-SAAVE) Humanitarian UAV Mission (HUM) project team, where she is the Systems Lead. Additionally, she is on the board for the Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics (WAA) student organization and part of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). 


This year, Jasmine Chang ranked as a top PhD candidate and will receive the Glidden S. Doman Scholarship of $4,000. The Glidden S. Doman Scholarship is named for one of the six original American helicopter pioneers, Glidden (Glid) Sweet Doman who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1942 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. 

“I am grateful to receive the Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship, as it is a significant recognition of my efforts, particularly for the two years I have been in the Aerospace Engineering Department. I am also grateful to my advisor, Professor Cesnik, for the guidance and support he has given me,” commented Chang.

Chang is an active member of the Active Aeroelasticity & Structures Research Lab (A2SRL) led by Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering, Carlos Cesnik. Her research interests include fluid-structure interaction and aeroelasticity, and her current research focuses on developing frequency-domain aeroelastic solutions for whirl flutter prediction. Chang graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSE and MSE in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.