What is your next adventure?
I am going to be an aerodynamics engineer for Boeing starting in July. I'm moving up to Tukwila, WA, which isa little bit south of Seattle. It's pretty close to the city, but far enough away to have a peaceful nightlife. I’ll be working right at Boeing Field, which is next to The Museum of Flight. I plan to be in industry for quite a while and see how it goes. If in the future there is potential for me to get my master’s sponsored, I would do it. But right now, I want to work in industry
What about your next adventure are you most looking forward to?
Seeing a new place. I've been in Georgia for most of my life, so living and working somewhere else is something that I've been looking forward to for a very long time. It's time to take my skills and actually put them to use. My start date is July 14th, so probably a few weeks before that, I'll move and get settled. I’ve been researching and learning about the area. They're going to pair me with a consultant, and we'll figure things out from there. My family and I will visit in a couple of weeks in May just to see what the area is like and get a first-hand view. I have a couple of friends who are interning there this summer, so we plan to spend some time together as well.
I’m also looking forward to the work at Boeing. Part of the draw with the aerodynamics position is that I'll be doing a little bit of everything, not just aerodynamics. So, I will be doing a lot of design and flight testing as well. So, my hope is to eventually in the future move on from aerodynamics into flight testing. I like it because it tells you how the vehicle will behave in the air. It tells you what parts can be optimized. It helps with designing the aircraft as well because you take a look at the aerodynamics and say this is the most optimal for cruise and passenger aircraft but you can take a look at it again and see other benefits from it
Did you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
I don't have any coop or internship experience, but I do have research experience. I was with the German Research Group with Dr. Brian German. We did a lot of eVTOL aircraft design during the fall and spring semester, and he allowed me to work for him flight testing the vehicle that we created in the summer. It showed me that flight testing is what I wanted to do.
How did your educational experience at Georgia Tech help you to achieve your goals?
Georgia Tech has given me a lot of resources. The curriculum does a good job gauging what interests you because you're not focused on one central thing. You gain experience in controls, configuration aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, flight testing and CFD, among other things. All of the classes here showed me what I was most interested in while also giving me a little bit of experience in design and controls.
Design-Build-Fly(DBF)also contributed greatly to my experience here at Tech. It was at DBF that I could put what I learned in class to use as well as apply the entire engineering cycle. DBF showed me how to design, build, test, and iterate on a system in a large team setting.
What advice would you give to an under classman who would like to follow the same path?
I would say take a lot of the correct classes in terms of your options because while most of the curriculum does give you a good breadth of knowledge, your options are where you can explore your interests. Classes like CFD, configuration aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and flight testing are all very good options classes if you're interested in aerodynamics. But there are other options like Introduction to Avionics integration and Robotics and Autonomy if you are interested in, say, controls, so finding the right option for you helps a great deal.