Joachim Hodara

Ph.D.A.E. 2016

What is your next adventure? I have accepted a position at Dassault Systemes - Simulia Corporation -  in Rhode Island, working as a CFD [computational fluid dynamics] development manager.

What are you most looking forward to in your next adventure? I am really excited about working in the industry world, contributing to real-life projects as part of a strong team. Everyone in the CFD group at Dassault Systemes is very talented. I interned there last summer, and we had so many exciting discussions about turbulence modeling and numerical methods. It really felt like grad school all over again. With this new job, I will keep doing some sweet science while having a more direct impact on the final product.

Do you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area? 
I interned with this group last summer and really loved it. CFD is on the frontier of physics and computer science. If you want to move forward, you have to do both. As an AE grad, I had a strong physics background, but my programming skills had been developed 'on the go,' while writing codes for my Ph.D. research. At Dassault, I can collaborate closely with computer scientists to restore the balance.

What about your educational experience at GT-AE helped you to achieve your goals? It's been really great. When I got here [with a masters degree in aerospace dynamics from Cranfield University in England] I had very little experience. Just a few years later, I have been involved in several student design competitions, international conferences. There are so many opportunities to get scholarships and internships, I can barely fit everything on my resume now.  For sure, doing a Ph.D. at GT can be stressful at times, but it is definitely worth it.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to follow in your path? It's nice to get good grades, but use your time at Tech to do things outside the classroom. Internships, conferences, competitions, they will make it a lot easier to land your dream job after you graduate. Also, don't start your Ph.D. with a fixed idea of what you absolutely want to do. Once you start working -a lot-on a new project, you'll get good at it. Once you get good at it, you'll get to love it anyway. I think it's much more important to pick a great advisor, rather than a great subject.