Daniel C Garmendia

Ph.D.A.E. 2015

Next Adventure: After spending the last 12 years here at Georgia Tech, I am moving to Maryland to take a job with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. I will be the senior professional staff for a new team.

Previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
Over the course of my time at Georgia Tech and at ASDL [Aerospace Systems Design Lab] I worked on several projects that involved very different contractors. Support for my dissertation came from the NASA Graduate Student Research Project fellowship, out of Langley. I worked on the hybrid wing body aircraft, focusing on design optimization under control authority constraints.

Most looking forward to...
I've lived in Atlanta since 2003, so I'm itching to try out a new city. And, while I've gotten to do some great things as a post-doc at ASDL, I'm ready to shed the poor graduate student life.  Workwise, I'm getting to do something I haven't looked at for awhile - ballistic defense - which is also exciting.

How did your educational experience at GT-AE help?
My undergraduate and graduate years at Georgia Tech really taught me to work hard and to put in the hours to get work done. There were a lot of late nights. My doctoral program taught me how to think for myself, define my own problems, and design new solutions. It was particularly helpful to have Dr. Mavris as my advisor, because he was personally aware of NASA's interest in the hybrid wing and he helped me to make that connection.

Throughout my time at Tech, I had a strong social network -- people I knew through the marching and concert band and through Kappa Kappa Psi, the service organization associated with the band. It makes the whole experience easier when you have people to turn to, to complain to, to get support. Especially during the Ph.D. It's such a grind. The other thing is, you should learn to be humbled, especially at the Ph.D. level because there's a lot of knowledge out there. You can't know it all. Passing a test on it is not the same as knowing it.