What is your next adventure? I will be doing a summer internship as a control systems engineer in the space systems group of Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia. Then I will be going to Stanford to earn a masters degree in aerospace engineering focusing on guidance, navigation, and control.
What are you most looking forward to in your next adventure? I've finally explored enough things that I know what I want to do. I look forward to getting into space controls. It doesn't have to be a spacecraft. It could be autonomous system, a driverless car. There are a lot of cool emerging questions in that field and I'm excited to get into them.
Did you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area that prepared you? I did two co-op rotations for GE Aviation, one in Baltimore and the other in Cincinnati. I worked on stress analysis on engine nacelles and coded a few tools for the the analysis standardization software. For research, at Tech, I worked in three different labs. I worked with Dr. Feron on propeller performance optimization, with Dr. Walker on designing software for testing a thruster's design, and with Dr. Gunter, on the RANGE mission.
What about your educational experience at GT-AE helped your to achieve your goals? On top of everything - the great name, the prestigious diploma, the curriculum- Georgia Tech gave me a chance to flip and flop until I found the right place. I came to Tech not really knowing what engineering was, exactly. I wanted to build, design, and analyze. What I've gotten is so many opportunities - to do research, to do conferences, to use great facilities.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to follow in your path? When I started at Tech, I was very hesitant about approaching the professors to talk or applying for different jobs because I thought I had no value. I had to develop myself more before I could do anything. I didn't realize that that's not true. You need to talk to professors because they see you as an asset, someone who can learn over time. I wish I'd known to go to career info sessions even as a freshman to talk with recruiters. It's not that you'll get things by talking to them, but you'll learn. And professors don't see you as useless. They see the potential, the eagerness to try something new.