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HaefnerFor most students, surviving the academic struggle that is engineering at Texas A&M University is enough of a challenge, but senior nuclear engineering student Jonah Haefner has never stopped challenging himself. A high-performing student and student leader, Haefner’s achievements have culminated into his receiving the Craig Brown Outstanding Senior Engineer Award.

“It's a great honor for me to receive this award and I feel so fortunate because of what it says about my involvement and academic success,” Haefner said.

Eligible students for the award are required to be engineering students of good standing and maintain an overall grade point ratio of 3.5. Winners are selected by Engineering Academic and Student Affairs after a nomination is confirmed by the student’s engineering department, where they are then evaluated on scholastic achievement, leadership and character. The award also comes with a $5,000 scholarship. In addition to maintaining his academic standing, Haefner is also involved in several on-campus organizations.

“For me, my involvement is about helping other people,” Haefner said. “In the Corps, I dedicate a lot of time to ensure my underclassmen are successful and have the tools they need to succeed because I want them to find that fulfillment in their own lives.”

In addition to his role as the executive officer of Company G-2 in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, Haefner is also the executive officer of the O.R. Simpson Honor Society, a special society within the Corps of Cadets that is dedicated the academic mentorship and success of other cadets, and is involved in the Corps of Cadets athletic teams, participating in the marathon and triathlon teams.

Haefner also works as an undergraduate researcher at the Department of Nuclear Engineering thermal hydraulics laboratory and is doing an undergraduate research thesis with the Engineering Honors program.

“Previously I've done some heat transfer and fluid flow correlations for cross flow heat exchangers for a molten salt reactor,” Haefner said. “But now I am working on a project setting nozzle flow for a Terry turbine in a RCIC [Reactor Core Isolation Cooling] system.”

Haefner, who is contracted with the U.S. Navy, will be commissioning as an officer upon graduation, with the hope of working as a naval reactor engineer in Washington D.C. and then one day coming back to Texas A&M to pursue a doctoral degree and conduct research.

“I think that this award is about more than being academically successful or being really involved on campus,” said Haefner. “I’ve just done my best to help others succeed and I take pride in doing that for others.”