After graduation, what's your next adventure?
I am moving to Indianapolis to take a job in the computational methods group at Rolls Royce.
What about your next adventure are you most excited about?
I’ve only really been involved in research so it’ll be pretty cool to work for a company that produces a product. To see the results of my work in action – turning research into something that will fly people around – that’s pretty cool.
Did you have any previous co-op internship or research experience that helped you get to this point?
Before I got to Tech I earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in computational physics and the other in mechanical engineering. I had the honor or working with professors who were very high profile in those areas. When I came here I came because I love aerospace and I got introduced to all aspects of engines as a part of my research. My second year here, I did an internship in the computational methods group at Rolls Royce and it was awesome. I loved the people and the work, and I was invited back for two more rotations. After the third rotation they said ‘we want you to finish your PhD and come back here.’ So I signed my job contract two years ago.
How did your educational experience at Georgia Tech help you achieve your goal?
Georgia Tech’s AE School has a close connection with industry and government employers which helped me to find Rolls Royce. The Aerospace Systems Design Lab where I work has a great External Advisory Board that had a connection with Rolls Royce that got me my first exposure there. Two very sharp guys from Rolls Royce were on my [dissertation] committee and they gave me great insight. And Dr. Mavris is awesome. He’s incredibly busy but he always knows what people are doing – in their research and in their lives. You may not talk to him all the time because he is so busy, but if you go into his office and tell him you have to talk to him and he says he’s busy right then, you’ll get that call from him when he’s in Bolivia. He is tough, but he’ll never push you harder than you are capable of doing. And he knows what you are capable of doing, even when you’re not so sure.
What advice would you give a student who was thinking about following your steps at Georgia Tech's aerospace engineering school?
The advice I’d give is ‘Don’t take “no” for an answer.’ When I was an undergrad, I said I wanted to major in engineering and physics. People said ‘No, you’ll never have the time,’ but I did. I took independent studies to make up the difference. At Georgia Tech, I never heard Doc [Professor Mavris] say ‘no.’ He’d tell me to be careful, but if I had a dream, he would just say do what you need to do to be successful. And he knows how to push each of his students to be successful.