M.S. in Aeronuatics and Astronautics, December 2011
West Virginia University
Dual Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, December 2009
2011 NASA Glenn Academy:
Operations and Logistics Manager
In the two years after my experience with the Academy as a research associate in 2009, I have not held the same residence for more the 7 months. During this time, I was lucky enough to not only see people from all phases of my life, three continents, and make friends all over the world; but also learn a lot about myself. My view on life has changed greatly though out this process. I have learned to become a more extraverted person and building strong relationships is a skill that should be treasured and nurtured. My goals and my attitude toward life have changed but one thing has remained: The past is the past and one must use their time building the future and enjoying the present, and not dwelling on what did or didn’t happen. I hope to point others in my direction; not in life but in allowing their experiences blossom into an improved future.
I have always tried to explore from the time I was young. Because of this I was told I was on my way to be an engineer as I solved problems and always asked why. It has brought me from my home, West Virginia, to the middle of technology, Silicon Valley. My decisions have taken me down many paths as far as career aspirations go, but my love for exploration in the unknown void of space has never wavered.
Work Experience, Research, and Hobbies
I feel very lucky to have had the drive as a child to learn and excel in math and science. Additionally, my family and friends have always been there to support me in whatever direction life takes me. Going into my freshman year at West Virginia University, I really had no idea if engineering was right for me. Not until my junior year did I have the “light bulb” experience that solidified my choice as an Aerospace Engineering major. That year, I joined the Microgravity Research Team at WVU.
This team was formed to conduct research through a NASA program called the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program (RGSFOP). The team submitted a proposal entitled “Investigation of Viscous and Capillary Fingering Through a Hele-Shaw Cell in Microgravity” to the program for review and our experiment was one of those accepted. We researched our topic, then designed and constructed an experiment apparatus to test the phenomena in question. We took the experiment to Johnson Space Center where it was tested in Microgravity conditions aboard the Weightless Wonder Aircraft. The data collected was analyzed and a report was submitted. This experience greatly enhanced all aspects of my research skills. It also honed my teamwork and leadership skills. What intrigued me most about this project was the space applications and working with NASA.
From there I continued to work with NASA participating in the Academy the summer after my excursion to Houston. While at Glenn, I researched cryogenic fluid storage for long duration stays on extraterrestrial worlds, specifically the Moon. The Academy not only presented me to work with NASA top scientists, but also the elite of my peers. Some of my most memorable experiences were those just talking and dreaming with my fellow academites. I experienced three NASA centers, met elite scientists and I was enlightened to how the agency works. During my ten weeks in Cleveland, I learned not only about my research but also policy and leadership. Following this experience, I worked in software validation and verification for NASA IV&V facility and participated in a fifteen week internship at NASA Ames in Mountain View, California. At Ames, I worked on fault detection in wind turbine blades, gears, and drive trains.
I truly enjoyed my experience at Ames and this led me to continue my stay in the Bay Area, accepting to further my Aerospace Engineering education at Stanford University in the Master’s program. While at Stanford, I have been concentrating on control and dynamics as well as getting some experience with entrepreneurship. I helped to start a small-scale vertical axis wind turbine company with novel ideas in manufacturing and product set up. I have also been involved in a project sending a payload proving commercial GPS capabilities at high altitudes. The payload took photographs of the upper atmosphere and reached an altitude of over 100,000 feet.
In my spare time I love to compete whether it be sport, game, or trivia. I am a member of the AIAA and Tau Beta Pi, holding many leadership offices. I enjoy meeting new people and challenging myself to new things, including foreign language and piano.