Nikolaus L Thorell
Next Adventure: I've enrolled in language school in the Swiss Alps so that I can become fully bilingual. After I finish, I will return to the United States to work in systems engineering.
Previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
My graduate research has been with Dr. Komerath. I have assisted him with work on the reverse flow of the retreating rotor blades and also on slung loads and divergent speeds. My own research has focused on vortex flow over a highly swept delta wing. I completed a summer co-op at NASA Ames, too.
Most looking forward to...
I am excited about pursuing French, which I learned in high school but have not pursued since then. I think becoming bilingual will give me a more wide-ranging perspective on lots of things, including how I tackle engineering problems. It's not just learning a language, but, also, learning another way to think and speak about the world. I am also really look forward to doing systems engineering because you can apply it to solve any problem. I won't be pigeon-holed by it.
How did your educational experience at GT-AE help?
When I was looking for graduate programs, I did a search for the top schools in fluid mechanics and refined my search for experimental work. Georgia Tech was the top of the list. It was a great choice. Georgia Tech has given me a better sense of the big picture. In experimental work, which I've done here, you get to design, refine, run, and analyze your own tests, which means you really have to understand how everything works.
I would say that the most important advice is to know what your priorities are at any given time. Then, if something comes along that you would otherwise miss, you'll take advantage of it. You never know if you'll get another chance. I took advantage of doing a co-op at NASA Ames. I am glad I did experimental work at Georgia Tech. And, right now, I am glad that there's an opening in my life so that I can study another language and culture before I go into the workforce.