Volume X / 2021
The University of Texas at Arlington | College of Engineering
Steve Hunker

Out of this World

By his own admission, Steve Hunker (’08 B.S., Mechanical Engineering) didn’t have a clear picture of what he wanted to do with his life after graduation. He was passionate about space, but it never crossed his mind that his work would eventually land on the surface of Mars. Fast-forward to today, and there is indeed a robotic arm designed by his team on the planet, part of the Perseverance Mars rover that handles samples taken from its surface. “It’s a pretty incredible feeling,” Hunker says. “There’s a sense of pride in the knowledge that a group of people can rise above all of these worldly problems—financial issues, politics, whatever—and do something to move humanity forward.”