Cassie Smith

Aeronautical Engineering

Alumni Update: Cassie is now working as a mechanical engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She is currently working on Mars Sample Return (MSR) which is scheduled to launch in 2026.

Hometown: Whitehouse Station, NJ

Off- Campus Experience

Mechanical Engineering Intern at NASA’s JPL: Worked on a comet design mission.

Mechanical Engineering Co-Op at NASA’s JPL: Worked on the Mars Helicopter mechanical team.

On-Campus Experience

RPI Pep Band: Played the sousaphone with the RPI Pep Band at football, men’s and women’s ice hockey games, and around campus. The Pep Band plays at various events on campus, and throughout the Capital Region and occasionally travel with the teams to their away games!

RPI LEAP - Co-Coordinator: LEAP stands for Leadership Educators Advising Peers, a student-run leadership group based in the Archer Center for Student Leadership & Professional Development. I was a trained facilitator in experiential education (which is like low and high ropes courses). I go helped other clubs/organizations on campus to facilitate workshops on icebreakers/team dynamics.

Admissions Ambassador: Helped out at the Admissions office and gave tours to prospective students.

Favorite Classes

My favorite classes have been Spaceflight Mechanics and Numerical Design Optimization, where I learned how to analyze orbits and trajectories, and how to solve optimization problems, respectively.