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PCC's Liam Hutchins Selected to Participate in NASA Aerospace Course this Summer

In addition to taking classes at PCC, Liam Hutchins, the son of Charles and Joni Hutchins, has worked as a computer lab technician in Pitt's Craig F. Goess Student Center since 2015.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College student Liam Hutchins has been selected to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program this summer.

Designed for community college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students, NCAS provides participants with an authentic NASA experience and encourages them to finish a 2-year degree or transfer to a 4-year university to pursue a NASA-related field or career.

Hutchins, a 2014 Farmville Central High School graduate from Greenville, is on track to graduate from PCC’s Electronics Engineering Technology program in December. He plans to transfer to N.C. State University for mechatronics upon completion of his studies at Pitt.

Hutchins said he first learned about NCAS from PCC’s Tony Gallardo, his hydraulics and pneumatics instructor.

“I went home afterwards and looked it up online to see what it was about,” Hutchins said. “This program gives me an opportunity of having a real NASA experience and will motivate me to finish my two-year program and then transfer to a four-year university to pursue a NASA-related field.

“As I was reading through the website and watching a video they had describing what they did in 2016, I started to think how cool it would be to be a part of that.”

Following an online orientation session to open lines of communication and provide program details June 6, Hutchins will take the online portion of NCAS from June 7 to July 12. Upon successful completion, he could be selected to visit a NASA facility for a four-day engineering design workshop.

The 21-year-old Hutchins says he hopes the information he learns through NCAS will help him reach his career goal of working with NASA to develop drone and related technologies.

“My plan is to use this as a jumpstart to preparing myself for my dream job of working at Ames Research Center, which is where NASA houses their drone research [and] where they are working on how to make a traffic control system for drones,” Hutchins said. “They do other amazing work, but this is the one that interests me the most, since I have a huge interest in drones.”

The NCAS program is part of NASA’s efforts to better serve groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields.