Benjamin L. Grisel

B.S.A.E. 2015

Next Adventure: In December and January, I will travel through Europe. I plan to make a special visit to Norway, too. It's a place that has always interested me.  In October, I will begin the U.S. Army's Basic Officer Leadership Course in Fort Rucker Alabama. After that, the plan is to go to flight school where I will be training on CH 47 (Chinook) helicopters. I can't wait.

Previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
I participated in extra training that is sponsored by the Army. I did a parachute training class at Fort Benning and an air assault class, which is the Army's way of teaching you about helicopters. I got to repel out of a Black Hawk helicopter. That was cool. We also had a 12-mile ruck march...

Most looking forward to...
I'm looking forward to the first time I am able to fly by myself. I've been wanting to fly since I was a kid. I can't wait to take the controls.

How did your educational experience at GT-AE help?
When I applied to the National Guard in Nebraska - which is where I'll be stationed - it took them two weeks to get back to me. [laughs] When they did, they said they were trying to figure out what was wrong with me. They don't unusually get candidates coming from such a prestigious school. It pretty much blew away the competition. Everything I learned here at Georgia Tech will give me the ability to deal with complications that come up when we're actually flying. For instance, in a helicopter, when you pull the cyclic left, you bank left. They'll tell everyone that in training, but I know why. So if something messes up, I'll know more about what we need to do.

Balance. You gotta have it. When I first got to Tech, I studied day-in, day-out. After awhile, I noticed my performance was slipping, because I wasn't motivated. I wasn't mountain biking or doing any of the physical activities that I love. That's when I decided I would plan to have a certain amount of free time each week. I would figure out how much time it took to get the work done for my classes, and then I would allot myself some time for fun. It was a little trial-and-error, of course, but it worked out great.