Next Adventure: After I graduate, I have two internships lined up before I enter graduate school next fall. The first one is at NASA Huntsville, where I will work as a propulsion technology development engineer. The second is in LA, where I will be working as a build reliability engineer at SpaceX. These are the perfect fit for me, because I plan to follow a space track - either propulsion or mission operations - when I go to grad school.
Previous co-op, internship, or research experience in this area?
I have worked a lot with Dr. Gunter. First, I worked with him on a team that put together a six-rotored drone that was equipped with Lidar imaging to produce 3D imaging. The second one is the RANGE project, a cubesat that his team is building. I've worked on the mission design team. I also did an internship at the Draper Lab in Houston, where they were adding higher fidelity aerodynamics to one of the navigation tools.
Most looking forward to...
I am definitely ready to get a feel for how all of the rigorous coursework and demanding research plays out in industry. These internships will introduce me to how it all gets incorporated on the job. With graduate school, I'm excited about taking my education to the next level, where I will be building things.
How did your educational experience at GT-AE help?
I think a lot of students talk about how hard it is here -- the workload, the demands. I feel like that's the most important part. I won't have three exams in one day after I leave here, but I think those exams served their purpose. The work is hard so we are well-trained. The professors are doing it so we'll be prepared - not to torture us.
Get involved. I mean freshman year or as soon as possible. Even if you ask a professor to do research and they turn you down because you don't have the experience yet. You'll get experience asking. I know one thing: you won't get as far if you are just doing the homework.