Don’t Think,
Just Do.

An interview with Jonah Weltzheimer, pictured fourth from the right. Weltzheimer was the 2021 OEF Oklahoma College Engineering Scholarship recipient. 

Q and A with Jonah Weltzheimer

2021 OEF Oklahoma College Engineering Scholarship Recipient

What do you plan to do immediately after college?

“Recently, I’ve received an entry level design engineering job with Textron Aviation for post-graduation. Possibly, I am thinking of starting my career there and working to earn a Master’s in Business Administration and Engineering Management at Purdue University. Simultaneously, I want to start ground school to earn my private pilot’s license.”



Tell us about your recent project, Sunstoppable.

During the spring of 2021 semester at Oklahoma State, we had a course-semester project that required a team of 10 individuals to design a high altitude, solar-powered unmanned aerial satellite. The team structure was split into sub-teams (Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Avionics, Structures, CAD) in which co-leaders for those groups were selected. Team Leads and members are mentioned below:

Aerodynamics Team:

  • Payton Simmons (Sub-group Lead), Patrick Cheatham, Austin Elliot

Structures Team:

  • Britney Dunlap (Sub-group Lead), Patrick Cheatham, Jonah Weltzheimer

Propulsion Team:

  • Mirijan Hovsepian (Sub-group Lead), Madison Morton, Erasmo Dominguez

Avionics Team:

  • Jared Grief (Sub-group Lead), Collin Wycoff, Britney Dunlap

CAD Team:

  • Collin Wycoff (Sub-group Lead), Payton Simmons, Patrick Cheatham

“I was voted as the team lead to help organize, plan, and delegate project milestones, goals, and deadlines. Britney Dunlap, a junior Mechanical Aerospace Engineering student, was a key contributor to the name of the satellite in which we called it the “SunStoppable”.

“Individually, I researched and determined solar cell efficiencies to optimize daytime flight. Additionally, I created a global irradiation curve in python to predict endurance of the satellite using only solar power and determined dynamic/static stability and control of the satellite during cruise flight.

“I was very proud of the hard work and contributions the team put into the project. Even though the challenges of the project seemed impossible, we all worked together to overcome the challenges extraordinarily well.”



How has college prepared you for the engineering field?

“Throughout my seven years of undergraduate schooling, I have been able to learn many different things for career preparation and book knowledge for engineering. However, I feel as college has mostly prepared me for understanding how to ‘think’ or ‘problem-solve’ like an engineer. Most of my time spent in homework is spent reading through chapters of the textbook or utilizing the web for any additional insight for a topic. My developed studying habit has been very helpful during my past two internships; If I became confused at all with my job, I relied deeply on those habits to help me determine an answer.”


What advice do you have to high school seniors?

“Be proactive in doing your homework and continue to build your studying habits. If you are currently working hard, but are not seeing any results, it means you are doing the process right! Don’t let fear of failure let you stop your persistence.”


Ups, Downs and Gratitude


…How was your interest in engineering nurtured? Is there anyone you’d like to thank for helping you along the way?

“My family, friends, and family friends have all supported me through my long seven years of undergraduate school! I aspired to learn engineering while playing football in college and attending a United States Federal Service Academy. After high school, I went to play football at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) where I was self-prepping to get into a service academy. Two years later, I graduated NMMI with an Associates in Science and was appointed to the United States Merchant Marine Academy. I left the USMMA to earn an aerospace engineering degree…I made the decision to come to Oklahoma State University. During those years of college, I had a lot of ups and downs…at some points I felt like I would not be able to recover. But my family and friends were there to support my efforts and dreams. They believed in me, which is why I cannot express the amount of gratitude and thankfulness I have for them.”

When did your interest in engineering begin?

“My junior year of high school, my brother was appointed and earned a football scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy. At that time, I became heavily interested in flying fighter jets in the military. Because I wanted to fly, I grew a passion for learning about aviation and aerospace engineering!”

Post Script


OEF is proud of Jonah’s accomplishments and grateful we can be a small part of his success story through the Oklahoma Engineering Scholarship. As proof of Jonah’s gratitude for all he has traversed and accomplished, he wanted to make sure his Sunstoppable team was features in this story. We were happy to do so! 


Favorite Quote

“Don’t think, Just do”
–Maverick TopGun

What do you like to do when you’re not engaged in engineering/studies?

“I love to play the piano, Golf, and work out! Love watching college/NFL football and hanging with friends at college!”

OEF Scholarship

The Oklahoma Engineering Foundation Scholarship is an endowed scholarship fund managed by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Over the past  45 years, we have awarded more than $350,000 to engineering students at Oklahoma universities.

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