Sierra Nevada Corporation Partners with Reno Air Racing Foundation and University of Nevada, Reno to Connect Students with Aerospace and Aviation

SPARKS, Nev., March 27, 2013 – Satellites, space transportation vehicles, space subsystems and careers in aerospace and aviation will be explored at “Pathways to Aviation,” an annual program to present aerospace and aviation related topics to industry, municipal, government and K-12 and university faculty and students, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Joe Crowley Student Union.

The 5th Annual Pathways to Aviation is a program of the Reno Air Racing Foundation (RARF) and the University of Nevada, Reno Raggio Research Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to develop the next generation of engineers, scientists, innovators, aerospace and aviation professionals.

Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president for Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC’s) Space Systems, and Paul McFarlane, lead flight director for the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, are the featured speakers.

As head of SNC’s Space Systems, Sirangelo leads the company’s production of satellites, propulsion systems, space hardware and the Dream Chaser® Space System, an orbital crew vehicle currently being funded in partnership with NASA as a replacement for the retired Space Shuttle. Sirangelo has spent his career at the forefront of leading aeronautics, space and technology companies, including SpaceDev, Inc. He has been named to NASA/Space Foundation’s Technology Hall of Fame, the Defense Industry’s Fast Track 50 and is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow. He served as an officer in the U.S. Military and is a licensed pilot.

McFarlane is the force behind the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, a non-profit, education organization that provides K-12 students and members of the community with STEM programs and spaceflight simulations. The Challenger Learning Center hosts spacesuit labs, the first mobile digital dome programs in Nevada, and the first Advanced Spaceflight Laboratory space transport simulator in the United States.

“As the education and outreach arm of the RARF, Pathways to Aviation seeks to inspire local youth through aviation and aerospace educational activities, grants and scholarships to pursue educational studies in STEM fulfilling careers in aviation and aerospace,” said Eric Henry, chairman of RARF. “Our partnerships with Sierra Nevada Corporation, the University of Nevada, Reno, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, the Reno Air Racing Association, and the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada help to further our mission to engage more young people in these skilled career paths.”

Pathways to Aviation begins at 6 p.m. with networking and refreshments in the Great Room on the fourth floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union. The program and speakers begin at 7 p.m. in the Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP your attendance to Audrey Goodnight at or 775-682-6002.

Reno Air Racing Foundation
The Reno Air Racing Foundation seeks to inspire local youth through aviation education and air racing history preservation. The Foundation works closely with youth groups and community leaders to support math and science programs with an emphasis on air racing history and aviation science. Our goal is to expose local students to the fascinating world of flight. For more information, visit

University of Nevada, Reno
Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation’s best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation’s largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit

Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority
The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority is the owner and operator of the Reno-Tahoe International and Reno-Stead Airports. It is governed by a nine member Board of Trustees, operates as a business, and receives no local tax dollars. From its long-standing partnership with Swope Middle School to educational outreach in the community, the Airport Authority is a proud supporter of aviation education. For more information, visit

Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada
A not-for-profit (501(c)(3) education organization, the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada offers dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities to students. These programs equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skills that will help better our national social and economic well-being. The program gives students the chance to become astronauts and engineers and solve real-world problems as they share the thrill of discovery on missions through the Solar System. For more information, visit

About Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nev., is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems and solar energy. Under the leadership of CEO Fatih Ozmen and President Eren Ozmen, SNC has a workforce of over 3,000 personnel in 30 locations in 16 states. SNC’s six unique business areas are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base.

SNC is also the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. Over the last 30 years under the Ozmen’s leadership, SNC has remained focused on providing its customers the very best in diversified technologies to meet their needs and has a strong and proven track record of success. The company continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of renewable energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. For more information on SNC visit