What is your next adventure?
will be joining Joby Aviation in Santa Cruz, California as a data analyst. They work on vertical take-off and landing vehicles and in the process of developing air taxis.
What about your next adventure are you most looking forward to?
I'm excited to join such a new, innovative, and upcoming industry, especially since it is expected that in the next couple years this industry will be booming. Joby is planning on having their aircraft flying by 2024 so it’s an exciting time in general. I’m also looking forward to starting a position that will combine my aerospace background and my computer science background into one position.
Did you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
During my last semester of undergrad, I started my first internship at Tietronix in Houston, Texas where I worked on model-based system engineering (MBSE), and created System Modeling Language (SysML) models. During my first year in graduate school at Tech I interned for Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT) at NASA Ames as a model-based systems engineer with in the Intelligent Systems Division. There I got work on creating SysML models again. This internship allowed me to make a lot of connections, in particular with other groups within the Intelligent Systems Division. During the summer of 2019 I interned again at NASA Ames but with the Data Science Group, and this time I started working on anomaly detection using flight data. This time I was officially working for KBR (formerly SGT) and I worked with the same group, but my work expanded to include precursor mining and I was able to extend the work I did there for my master's thesis, which I successfully defended this year.
As far as my graduate research, I was initially only focused on model-based systems engineering, which I’ve been doing with the Aerospace Systems Design Lab (ASDL). l started researching MBSE as an undergraduate researcher and then later transitioned as a graduate research assistant. At ASDL I had the great opportunity to work on MBSE, data analytics, and machine learning. I was taking extra time to work on developing machine learning models for aviation purposes, enabling me to combine two of passions: aviation and data analytics.
How did your educational experience at Georgia Tech help you to achieve your goals?
My experience at Georgia Tech really solidified that I’m a lifelong learner. Tech gave me the tools and capabilities to give me the confidence that I can learn anything and everything I put my mind to and I can apply what I learned to any situation. Through undergrad, graduate school, and research it enabled me to learn a lot in terms of problem formulation, problem solving, and presentation. I think those skills are extremely valuable for my profession and even personally.
As an undergraduate student coming from the Ivory Coast in West Africa, I was really worried about getting a job after graduation, but through my experiences at Tech, it has made me that much more confident and comfortable in my abilities and gave me the experience to find the industry I want to work in.
What advice would you give to an underclassman who would like to follow the same path?
Get involved in research. I'd especially encourage international students to pursue research while they are at Tech. Research is really good because when you're first starting out you likely don't have much experience, you don't know a lot about aerospace, but research will set you apart from those not doing research. Even if you don't get an internship or a position you want, you can get involved in research and work on your skills to help you get your first internship experience. For me, my first internship led to my second, my third, and ultimately landed a job I'm excited about.