July 13, 2012
Flying high: Graduate receives national fellowship for graduate study
An inventor by heart, Bryan Rogler, recent Kansas State University graduate in mechanical engineering from Olathe, has been named a 2012 Phi Kappa Phi graduate fellow.
Rogler is one of 51 students nationwide this year and one of 22 students from Kansas State University in the past 25 years to earn the $5,000 fellowship. Selection is based on the applicant's promise of success in graduate or professional study determined by academic achievement, service and leadership experience, career goals, and acceptance at an approved graduate or professional program.
"Each chapter of Phi Kappa Phi is only permitted to nominate one student to compete for these fellowships," said Jim Hohenbary, assistant dean for nationally competitive scholarships. "We thought Bryan had an excellent record of hard work and achievement at Kansas State University, and it is great to see him recognized nationally through this award."
Currently interning with General Electric Aviation in Manhattan, Rogler's passion is creating unmanned aerial vehicles -- also known as drones. He will attend Stanford University in the fall to pursue a master's in aeronautics and astronautics, with a focus in guidance and control.
"I think it is very fascinating to design something and program it to imitate human reactions and human response," Rogler said. "Designing an aircraft is harder than a land vehicle because you aren't sitting on the ground. In a car, you can only go forward, backward, left or right, but with a plane you also have up and down."
Rogler expanded his knowledge of the science behind flying by participating in the Kansas State Flying Club and the unmanned aerial vehicle student design team, which placed in 2011 and 2012 at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition. However, despite his ambition to acquire knowledge, he credits his success to the leadership opportunities and faculty members he worked with at K-State.
"What I think helped most were the experiences and relationships with professors at K-State; not only in the classroom but outside the classroom as well," Rogler said. "I actually have the phone numbers of my professors and I email them a million times a week, just going back and forth with questions. They are dedicated to helping me learn."
Rogler's ambition and experiences have put him in the forefront of a rapidly growing field.
"At K-State I was writing code and other things for systems that aren't exactly implemented in industry yet," he said. "The people that sponsored the unmanned aerial vehicle design team try to push students to perform what companies haven't quite done yet. When we get to companies, we are that much ahead and we can think that much better for this type of project."
During his time at the university, Rogler was vice president of scholarship for Delta Upsilon; president and treasurer of Pi Tau Sigma mechanical engineering honor society; president and secretary of the university chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; team leader and autopilot developer and operator for the student unmanned aerial systems design team for two years; and a College of Engineering ambassador.
In addition to the Phi Kappa Phi fellowship, his other honors include the university's Putnam Scholarship and mechanical and nuclear engineering outstanding senior award, as well as an Olathe scholar athlete and Kansas State University Knight of St. Patrick.
A graduate of Olathe South High School, Rogler is the son of Lisa and Ken Rogler, Olathe.