2020 Tillman Scholar

Austin Almand

Air Force
University of Colorado

“Inspiration is the best way to make lasting change. As a physician-engineer, I want to help inspire the world by pushing the limits of man’s place in the stars.”

Looking for an adventure, Austin went to the Air Force Academy after high school. There he found a passion for leadership, and earned a spot in Special Operations Forces.

Through many deployments across the globe, Austin saw that he and his men were making a difference. However, after watching new teams solve the same problems, he realized that wins through force seem to have a ceiling on their staying power. Austin decided that maybe inspiration was the key to making a lasting impact, and shifted focus toward something that had always inspired him: human spaceflight.

With the support of his wife and two kids, Austin left active duty after nine years for the Air National Guard, where he could pursue his goals and continue to serve in uniform. He completed a master’s  degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado–Boulder and then started a medical degree at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Austin intends to merge engineering solutions with medical knowledge to help launch humanity into other worlds, with the hope the stories and discoveries sent back will serve towards the betterment of us all.