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Concordia aerospace engineering student flies high at Quebec’s Hats Off to You! Contest

Gala Licheva receives the 2020-21 Prix Transports Excelle Science from the Ministère des Transports
September 15, 2021
Grey airplane parked at gate during sunset
Photo by VOO QQQ on Unsplash

Gala Licheva was nine years old when she boarded her first flight.

“I love planes. I’ve been into them from a very young age. I read books about them and visited museums,” says Licheva, an undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering at Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

This summer, she found herself on the winners’ list for the Government of Quebec’s 2020-21 Hats Off to You! Contest.

Licheva received the Prix Transports Excelle Science, presented by the Ministère des Transports du Québec to a student who exemplifies a passion for their field.

Enriched learning experience

From the moment Licheva discovered Concordia’s Aerospace Engineering program, she wanted to know more.

“Not all universities offer a specialized program in aerospace engineering,” she explains. “When I visited the Open House to learn more about the program, I spoke to student clubs and associations and I knew I had to be part of this community and get involved. Studying here is so much more than going to class.”

Licheva is part of Space Concordia’s Rocketry Division, where she is collaborating on a liquid-powered rocket project.

Young woman with dark curly hair and brown eyes wearing blue collared shirt Gala Licheva: “I’ve been into planes from a very young age.”

What sets her apart

In the award application process, Licheva was asked to identify what she sees as a challenge facing sustainable mobility.

Through a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award and her Co-op internship as a research assistant for Susan Liscouet-Hanke, associate professor of mechanical, industrial and aerospace engineering, Licheva gained the language, experience and research to inform her answer.

She continues to support Liscouet-Hanke’s work to develop a conceptual design tool for a hybrid-electric aircraft that, for example, will allow industry to calculate the weight of planes and fuel. This tool would be instrumental to drive fuel efficiencies and be integral to reducing fuel consumption or emissions for sustainable travel.

“Dr. Liscouet-Hanke is someone I look up to,” Licheva says. “I appreciate the way she openly shares her industry experiences and injects so much passion into her teaching approach. She continues to be involved in the industry and balances it all with her research and teaching.”

Licheva says she hopes to pursue a research-driven master’s degree upon graduation.


Learn more about the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science’s undergraduate aerospace engineering program.

Mark your calendars for this fall’s Open House at Concordia.

Check out open positions on Susan Liscouet-Hanke’s research team.


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