Next Adventure: In January, I will go to Purdue University to begin work on my masters in aerospace engineering. I will be focusing on aerodynamics.
Previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
I had five co-op rotations at HEICO Aerospace where I focused on new product development. I also did an internship at Gulfstream, working as a structural test engineer. And I did research with Dr. Hodges [structures],Dr. Sankar [aerodynamics], Dr. Komerath[aerodynamics] and Dr. Smith [aeroelasticity]. Each time I did research, I learned something new. Sometimes, it was that I didn't want to pursue that area of engineering. It just wasn't for me. When I did experimental research with Dr. Komerath, focusing on slung loads, I really liked it, so I continued. I also liked working on modeling the aerodynamics of hypersonic missiles with Dr. Smith.
Most looking forward to...
First and foremost, I have to say that my girlfriend, Amy Pierce, who is also a Tech grad
[BME '14] is already living in Indiana, so that makes the move a lot more attractive. I'm also excited because I'll be working on a Mach 6 wind tunnel. It'll be a unique experience.
How did your educational experience at GT-AE help?
I think Tech challenges you to get out of your comfort zone. I came to Tech so focused on co-ops and I had no interest in research. I was of the opinion, after high school, that I'd complete my undergraduate degree and that would be it. But once I started doing research, it led me in different directions. It led me to what I am doing now. And it's pretty exciting.
Especially for freshmen: don't be afraid to bite off more than you think you can chew. Get involved in building a rocket or designing a spacecraft. With a lot of the extra-curriculars, you can always back off if it doesn't fit, but you can't beat the experience.