Blast Off Into an Aerospace Career

Jeff Woytach, an aerospace engineer at NASA, gives Kent State students a taste of what careers at NASA are like at the Career Exploration Event with NASA.

On Wednesday, March 20, 2024, from 6 7 P.M., students with space-related interests gathered in the Kent State University Aeronautics and Engineering building to hear an “out of this world” presentation from Jeff Woytach, an aerospace engineer working at the NASA Glenn Research Center since 1983. The room was bustling with students eager to hear about Woytach’s career highlights while working with NASA. And if his wonderful speech was not enough of a treat, the event team offered some delicious star-shaped cookies to snack on.

Woytach first outlined where each NASA research center was located, then went in depth about his place of work for the past 41 years – the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. But really, his passion for space began long before that.

Jeff Woytach standing at the podium giving a presentation surrounded by Kent State University students.

“I became a ‘space cadet’ sometime during the first grade after reading a series of fictional stories about a boy and his dog exploring the moon,” Woytach said. From then on, Woytach took every opportunity he could to pursue his dreams, and his presentation encouraged Kent State’s future space cadets to do the same.

Woytach gave an in-depth presentation about all of the incredibly impressive accomplishments and projects he has been a part of during his long career at NASA. He explained the intricacies of his research and described the astute problem-solving skills necessary in aerospace engineering. His hour-long presentation was a journey into the beyond. The students present were enthralled by Woytach’s expertise and came to him with very insightful questions during the Q&A portion of the event.

“There is so much interest in NASA now that we are in what appears to be the beginning of a new space race - this time on so many levels, from establishing lunar bases, potentially using the resources in space and in situ on the moon, and then on to Mars and how that will work,” said Elizabeth Wagoner, Ph.D., Freshman Honors Colloquium professor, as well as the organizer of the event. The event grew naturally out of the interest in space exploration sparked by discussion in Wagoner’s “Science Fiction, Science Fact,” colloquium course.

“I worked with the Honors College to see if we could put the students in touch with NASA so that they could learn more about how to tailor their long-term course of study to aim for a career with NASA,” she said.

This wonderfully informative event was sponsored by The Honors College and The Kent State American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (KSUAIAA).

For more information about the event or aerospace career development, please contact Elizabeth Wagoner, Ph.D., at, or Jeff Woytach at


Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal,, 330-672-2312

PHOTO 1: Two whiteboards with the NASA presentation being projected on to them with students sitting at tables. 

PHOTO 2: Jeff Woytach standing at the podium giving a presentation surrounded by Kent State University students. 

POSTED: Friday, April 5, 2024 10:18 AM
Updated: Friday, April 5, 2024 10:18 AM