AeroSpace Prodigy Bryan Fewell (’13) Got His Start at Hanalani Science Fairs!
Bryan Fewell (’13) always had an interest in science from a young age and Hanalani Schools’ participation in the annual Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) science fair was a great way to channel his passion. He says, “I always loved to build things. My dad taught me to solder in third grade, and in fifth grade, we both got our amateur radio licenses, which led to my science fair projects and eventually the CubeSat world.”
Bryan participated in HAIS science fairs every year, and it was clear to everyone that he had a God-given passion for science and technology: He built his first amateur TV in sixth grade, and in seventh grade, he built an automatic position reporting systems (APRS) tracking device that won first place in the Junior Research Division.
Reaching for the Stars
But his biggest, most memorable project was in 8th grade, when he worked on building his own CubeSat – a type of miniaturized satellite that’s used for space research, made up of 10x10x10 cm cubit units. “This project showed me that anything is possible with hard work,” says Bryan. “It’s the reason why I have my job today and really sparked my interest in aerospace.”
His CubeSat led to his participation in the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair, where he won seven cash awards from different companies and organizations. Dr. Wayne Shiroma from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Nano-Satellite program took notice of his skills and became his mentor. For the next two summers during high school, Bryan worked with Dr. Shiroma on the program and his ninth to eleventh-grade science fair projects revolved around the CubeSat.
Lighting Up His Path
After graduating from Hanalani Schools, Bryan majored in electrical engineering at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and continued to work for the Nano-Satellite program. He helped with the assembly and operations of Ho‘oponopono 2 (a CubeSat mission developed to perform radar calibration) and the launch of the Lōkahi satellite program. After his sophomore year, he got a summer internship at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems in Southern California, which led to a permanent job as a lab technician.
“Because Tyvak was such a small company at the time (about 30 people), I got a lot of hands-on work as an intern,” says Bryan. “Instead of working on spreadsheets and taking inventory, I got to design flight boards and assemble flight hardware.”
Looking back on his early years at Hanalani Schools, Bryan remembers the friendship and camaraderie that he found with his group of friends. “I still try to keep in touch with most of them and hang out when we are both in the same area,” say Bryan. “All of the writing classes at Hanalani were intense but when I got to college, I realized they had prepared me so well that writing essays, proposals and emails were much easier.”
Currently, Bryan plans to finish his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, which will help him advance in his career to become an Assembly, Integration and Test Engineer at Tyvak. We can’t wait to see where our aerospace superstar goes from here!