Wright Scholar

Catherine Mohs

Aerospace Systems Directorate
Homeschooled student, high school graduate
Hometown: Beavercreek, OH (she now resides in Xenia, OH)

Catherine Mohs, a home-schooled student from Xenia, spent her summer working for AFRL and assisting a Ph.D. candidate with his research project.

After her first full day in the lab, Mohs wondered if she was ready for such a challenging assignment. She explained her fear turned to excitement as she learned about the equipment. Soon, she was busy concentrating on tasks, but suddenly, the realization hit her. She realized she was no longer anxious; instead, she felt excited.

“I took a moment to realize how awesome this all was. This was a dream job for me,” she said. “How often do [people] get to try out their dream job?”

Mohs said that she learned a great deal from her mentor, Levi Elston, by performing a mixture of computer and lab work.

She assisted Elston with research exploring phase change testing in gallium, an element that prevents electronic systems from overheating and failing on aircraft. Mohs explained that since her dad was in the military, she finds meaning in this type of research since it holds the potential to improve aircraft systems.

Mohs explained “that while I’m not up to the level of my mentors/coworkers, that’s okay. Because I’m here to learn and get experience.”

She cites the quote “if you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room,” as her mantra and go-to theme.

This internship has challenged me in so many different ways, she said. Most of all, Mohs enjoyed the hands-on experience. She asserts that this internship has solidified her decision to pursue a career in engineering.

Mohs will attend Wright State University to study mechanical engineering.

“Now more than ever, I am excited to apply my engineering knowledge to help make the world a better place," she said. "Even if it’s something small."