Justin Wheeler ?25

Justin Lee Wheeler

Class Year

’25

Hometown

Kenosha, Wis.

Major(s)

Engineering

Minor(s)

Physics, Math

Justin Wheeler ’25 is passionate about aerospace sciences and research. Carthage’s space sciences program and Engineering Department provided him the perfect opportunities to explore his interests and build upon his skills. He received the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Research Award to help him pursue space-related studies and has been a part of numerous funded research opportunities. 

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“Engineering is a great major for those who are into all sorts of engineering. It is not a specific category of engineering but rather a focus on the process of engineering. This program is building skilled engineers who are adaptable to every field.”

Justin Lee Wheeler, ’25

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because of the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium space science teams. As soon as I found out that Carthage students were going on to work at NASA and Boeing, I was in. The Carthage space science teams are performing entirely student-led graduate-level research that has taught me so much about project management as well as technical and professional skills.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage so far has been General Physics I with Professor Julie Dahlstrom. This was the first class that really opened my eyes to what is out there in the universe. It was sufficiently challenging but also exciting. The addition of physics-based Python projects was my favorite part — Prof. Dahlstrom does an amazing job of teaching physics with computer science elements added in.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class at Carthage so far has been Intellectual Foundations with Professor Dave Gartner. As someone who understands concrete numerical problems, literature classes have always been my Achilles heel. However, I am so glad this class is a requirement at Carthage. While I may not have felt this way when I was up late writing an essay on a subject that I was not enthralled to write about, I realize now how important it is to practice thinking in ways that you are not used to. Intellectual Foundations with Prof. Gartner taught me to question everything, and for that I am grateful.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved with the social fraternity Delta Upsilon, Rock Climbing Club, and the collegiate rocket launch team. Being a part of Delta Upsilon allows me to meet people outside of the STEM major; I believe it is incredibly important to have friends of all different majors and personalities. The Rock Climbing Club has allowed me to always have a place to kick back and listen to music with my friends while getting in a fun workout. The rocket team project was the first project in which I was the manager, and it was one of the most exciting parts of my freshman year.”

Golden opportunities

“I participated the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program in 2022. I spent the entire summer designing and developing my very own fluid dynamics for the Carthage microgravity research project. It was an incredible undertaking, and after gaining the skills over the summer, I was promoted to team lead of this project, which will be sent up on a Blue Origin New Shepherd payload into space.”

Career goal

“I hope to progress my career in the field of aerospace engineering. Whether this means graduate school or entering the job market, I know that my experience at Carthage will have me prepared.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the rock climbing wall.”

Favorite memory

“My favorite moment has been getting to fly on a Zero-G parabolic flight. This means I was in a plane that was falling straight toward the ground, producing the effect of zero gravity for all in the plane cabin. This was my first research flight and the greatest experience of my life.”

Biggest surprise

“My biggest surprise has been how comfortable I feel on campus. Everyone on campus is so accepting and easygoing. I have found a home at Carthage.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would be enthralled that I am on my way to fulfilling my dream of working at NASA.”

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