Banneker Industries Inc. CEO Cheryl W. Snead; Benita Fortner, director of Supplier Diversity for Raytheon Company; Embry-Riddle student Dhuree Seth and Student Entrepreneur Program colleague Jasmine Curtis at The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Student Entrepreneur Program in Orlando in June.

Aerospace Engineering Student Attends Entrepreneurship Program for CubeSat Venture

Dhuree Seth’s goal of launching a company that develops and launches small satellites for deep space exploration is one step closer to reality after she attended a prestigious entrepreneurship program for women this summer. 

Seth, who is earning her doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, was one of 19 students selected this summer to attend The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Student Entrepreneur Program (WBENC SEP) in Orlando. She spent a week receiving one-on-one mentoring from business experts, networked with female entrepreneurs from across the country and visited Fortune 500 companies such as FedEx.

“My dad is an entrepreneur, so it’s in my blood,” Seth said. “Being a Ph.D. Aerospace student, it was awesome to be part of a Student Entrepreneur Program. The women at the conference are incredible. I had the privilege to have mentors from Raytheon and Bannekar Industries. I aspire to be an entrepreneur for an aerospace company and this conference really helped to get me more focused in it.”

Seth’s inspiration for her venture, Europa Space Systems, started when she participated in NASA’s CubeQuest challenge at Embry-Riddle last year. The competition required teams to develop new technologies to advance the state of CubeSats, which are miniaturized satellites used for space research.  

Seth said that there are more than 75 CubeSats in orbit and several companies are investing to design and build CubeSats because the low cost in the production allows missions to be riskier in nature.

“The Nano satellites hold a very strong future for exploration of various science missions in the space. In the future, CubeSats will be used for lunar and Mars missions,” Seth said. “Several companies around the world are planning on launching several CubeSats to provide global internet service everywhere in world.”

Aerospace Engineering Professor J. Gordon Leishman said Seth is an excellent role model for young women who are interested in pursuing careers in Aerospace Engineering. Her venture is one of many ways she is involved in academics.

“She has proven to be an excellent Teaching Assistant in the wind tunnel lab and is now embarking on her dissertation research, which will involve advanced flow measurements using particle image velocimetry methods,” Leishman said. “Dhuree has also found time to play leadership roles in the CubeSat Challenge Team and in the Society of Women Engineers. Her selection for the Student Entrepreneur Program (SEP) reflects not only on her knowledge and passion for learning, but also her social skills and strong work ethic.”

Seth, 27, said she plans to spend the next year and a half conducting research for her CubeSat venture and will then begin the process of identifying a target market for the service.

During the program, Seth said she had the opportunity to network with fellow female entrepreneurs, form relationships with mentors and find support for taking her venture to the next level.

“I believe that if you can dream it, you can do it,” Seth said. “What’s exciting about the aerospace industry is that there is always something new to learn.” 

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.