“I was always curious about how and why things work the way they do,” said mechanical engineering sophomore Efrem Dana.

Dana first got a taste of engineering during high school when he participated in the Madison West Rocket Club. The club required students to design, build and test the flight performance of model rockets and compete against teams both regionally and nationally. He and his team took home the gold in the Rockets for School competition as well as competed in Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) along with 100 teams across the nation.

“The Madison West Rocket Club helped me see what areas of engineering interested me,” said Dana. “I found my passion to be designing and building the things I wonder about. I was interested in the mechanical side of what I was doing, which is why I decided to pursue a path in mechanical engineering.”

Strong academics, intimate class sizes and a downtown location were key drivers in Dana’s decision to attend Milwaukee School of Engineering. He continues to dive into his passion in mechanical engineering and rockets at MSOE by participating in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and MSOE Rocket Club. He is an academic excellence chair for National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a member of the Carter Academy Leadership Board and plays on the MSOE Club Soccer team.

Dana participated as a shadow with the MSOE Rocket Club during the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) 2019 challenge. A shadow is a student who helps the team but does not participate directly in the competition for the first year.

In addition to his position on the Carter Academy Leadership Board, Dana also worked in the Carter Academy as a program/professor assistant. The Carter Academy is a unique bridge program for students who desire to enroll at MSOE but need further academic preparation. As a program assistant, Dana serves as a mentor and tutor to prepare new students for MSOE.

Receiving the Wisconsin Grant helped propel Dana one step closer to achieving his goals after graduation.

“Attending college without financial aid and scholarships is very hard nowadays. Wisconsin Grant is like a bridge for my financial barriers and made my education and career goals easier to obtain,” said Dana.

Dana aspires to be a design engineer for spacecrafts after graduation. “I desire to use my engineering knowledge and skills to support other engineers who are trying to transform the world to the next level by solving problems starting from the community to searching for new planets.”