Christina RapertAll mechanical and energy engineering students, Christina Rapert, Yousef Akil and Stephanie Lopez will kick off their bright careers in engineering with one of the world’s foremost defense companies: Lockheed Martin.

The three are among nine students who’ve received offers from the company, with positions starting this summer in either Fort Worth or Grand Prairie.

Rapert will be at Lockheed working with F35 weapons integration. It’s a fitting job for a plane enthusiast who’d already completed two other internships with the company.

“In my previous internships, I worked on the C-130 in Georgia and on the F-35 in Fort Worth. In this position, I’ll be looking into how we put missiles and other hardware onto the planes,” she said. “I didn’t know I’d end up here, but I’m happy that I did!”

During her time at the university, Rapert also majored in mathematics at TWU through the UNT-TWU dual degree program.

“I’d started at UNT in the mechanical and energy engineering program, then applied to TWU for their mathematics and Honors programs,” said Rapert, an Honors student at both universities. “I loved that the mechanical engineering was broad and that you can do so much with math. At the time, it sounded a little hard, but it was doable.”

Akil, who’s also at the Fort Worth site, will work as a quality engineer, ensuring there aren’t any design or mechanical issues with the F35 jets.

“Basically, if anything in the engine fails, you have to run an analysis and see how to fix it,” he said. “You have to be able to think quickly and solve problems. Senior Design at UNT really helped me with that; it made me think so openly about engineering – it changed the way I think about problems.”

Akil, an officer in the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, first heard about the job at a meeting in January.

“It was just before school started back up, and we were meeting at 7 p.m. at a Starbucks here in Denton, which was a bit of a drive from where I live, but I decided to go anyway,” he said. “Towards the end of the meeting, another student mentioned Lockheed had a hiring fair in a couple days, which I hadn’t known at the time, so I rushed home and started fixing my resume and preparing.

“I got really lucky. It doesn’t happen with a lot of people,” he said. “I’m so thankful for this.”

Unlike Rapert and Akil, Lopez will work at Lockheed’s Grand Prairie site as a manufacturing engineer.

“I’m going to be working in the missiles facility making sure the parts and things designed are actually able to be made,” she said. It’s a job, she says, her internship with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) helped prepare her for.

“I interned last year with the Navy and worked under a Six Sigma Black Belt, working to streamline and make our processes as efficient as possible,” she said.

Lopez, like Rapert, also is a dual UNT-TWU graduate. The two will receive a B.S. in mechanical and energy engineering from UNT and a B.S. in mathematics from TWU.