What is your next adventure?
I am going to work as a systems engineer at Boeing in Everett, Washington.
What about your next adventure are you most looking forward to?
It'll be really exciting to be in the industry and applying the knowledge I have studied for so long. I did a lot of model-based systems engineering when I was studying in ASDL, so I'm excited to go work on the actual systems.
Did you have any previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
I was involved in the Model-Based Systems Engineering program at ASDL from my sophomore year to my senior year, where I worked on teams that worked on the NASA Pathfinder. Everyone on the project had a team at NASA that they consulted with. We were working on developing analytical tools.
I also worked with Dr. Sankar in the Computational Fluid Dynamics Lab, working on physics-based modeling and boundary theory. I was able to do data collection for a grad student, Avani Gupta, who was authoring a paper, "Development of Physics-Based Models for Ice Shedding" for the European Rotor Craft Forum. So I was a co-author.
I also interned at Georgia Tech Research Institute and did two study-abroad semesters - one in China, and the other in Ireland,
How did your educational experience at Georgia Tech help you to achieve your goals?
Aerospace engineering is too hard to do it for anything but love of the subject. And that's what you find at the AE School. Your classmates want to make a living, sure, but they are not studying this hard just for the money they'll make. And that made a difference to me.
The other thing is, the research opportunities really connect you with the faculty. Dr. Sankar was really like a mentor to me - especially in Limerick, where he offered to let me work with him on CFD tools. That got me connected to what I did in the fall.
What advice would you give to an underclassman who would like to follow the same path?
My best advice would be to not compare yourself to your peers at the AE School because they really are pretty much the smartest people you're going to meet in the field. You have to go out on your own and try everything. Then pick something that appeals yo you and work on it. The research I got to do was more than enough to keep me from comparing myself too harshly. I was too busy, and it was too interesting.
The other thing I'd say is to study abroad. Studying abroad really gave me perspective. I thought it would be impossible to do more than one after I did the China one, but AE makes it possible with the Limerick program. The Limerick program was especially great because everyone who goes is an engineer, so you can geek-out with them.