Oluwafikayo Oshinowo

B.S.A.E. 2022

What is your next adventure?

I’ll be working on earning my master’s degree in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech starting next Spring, and I’ll also be doing research with Professor Timothy Lieuwen, which I’m really excited about. I also have an internship planned for next summer with Pratt and Whitney.

What about your next adventure are you most looking forward to?

So, right now, I'm looking forward to my internship with Pratt and Whitney, especially since it’ll be my first on-site internship. My previous internship was during COVID, so I felt like I missed out on the experience of working in person. I’m also excited that I’ll be able to apply what I learned here at Georgia Tech.

Did you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?

Working in the Combustion Lab with Dr. Lieuwen helped uncover my interests in propulsion and combustion, which really made me want to pursue my upcoming Pratt and Whitney internship. Most of what I had done in the Combustion Lab was focused on either flame stability or making combustion more green but still efficient. I did some image processing on some of the data collected from the experiments as well.

I also worked with Dr. Alexander Alexeev for most of my undergrad, and we mainly looked at improving the propulsion of robotic swimmers. Most of that research was in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which I enjoyed, and the experience helped me get my internship at the NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center in 2020. It was my first glimpse at space systems. We were researching different heat transfer geometries in nuclear propulsion systems for future space missions.

How did your educational experience at Georgia Tech help you to achieve your goals?

When I first came to Georgia Tech, I was really confused because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, but Georgia Tech gave me an opportunity to explore and try different things. I think the amount of different skills and interests I developed along the way helped me work on projects I never would have thought I’d be able to, and inspired me to pursue things I otherwise would’ve ignored.

What advice would you give to an underclassman who would like to follow the same path?

I'd tell them two things; the first one being don't be afraid to ask for help. I struggled a lot in my first few years because I was scared to talk to any of my professors or peers. It would have saved me a lot of trouble if I had just remembered that other students were trying to figure things out, too, and my professors were there to help me learn. Most of the professors I talked to were really nice when I finally asked for help. So, save yourself the trouble and ask for help.  

Don't be afraid to seek new learning opportunities. Information that may not seem as important now could be important later. Try different learning experiences; it exposes you to things that you may not have known existed.