Once Collaborated With NASA, Malaysian Receives Award From The United States

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) have awarded the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) scholarships to three Penn State engineering students, which included a Malaysian!

Raja Akif Raja Zahirudin was awarded the Professor Barnes McCormick Scholarship.

once collaborated with nasa, malaysian receives award from the united statesPhoto via Twitter (Majlis Amanah Rakyat)

According to Penn State University, the award memorializes McCormick, a Penn State engineering alumnus and Boeing Professor Emeritus who died in 2017.

Fascinated by helicopters as a child, Raja Akif now investigates rotor noise for electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles and drones to find ways to reduce it. 

once collaborated with nasa, malaysian receives award from the united statesPhoto via Majlis Amanah Rakyat

“My interest in the field of aerospace pushes me to acquire knowledge diligently and take advantage of the educational opportunities provided by MARA to realise my dreams of becoming one of the experts in this field.

“Currently, I work as a Graduate Research Assistant at Penn State where I have the opportunity to be involved in various studies and projects,” he said. 

He has also collaborated with several research centers in the United States including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

He was involved in NASA’s JHU-APL Dragonfly project which aims to send a dual-quadcopter to Titan, which is one of the moons of the planet Saturn, expected to launch in 2027. 

Raja Akif previously attended Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in the United States from 2012 to 2016 under MARA Education Loan Scheme (SPIP) program for four years, majoring in Aerospace Engineering at the undergraduate level. 

He then went on to continue his studies in the Master’s Degree, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State. 

What an achievement! We wish you all the best in your future, Akif! 

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat