National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

David Miculescu

Georgia Institute of TechnologyDavid Miculescu

Atlanta, GA

B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and Minor in Mathematics, May 2013

NASA Academy Research Project:

The High Voltage Hall Accelerator Thruster Development

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Hani Kamhawi


Buford, GA


Growing up, I have always wanted to be a rocket scientist. I did not really know much about the field of aerospace except that which I gleaned from movies with astronauts, cool books about our solar system, and captivating constellations. I also had a deep passion for mathematics. It was only later during my high school years that I discovered more of what aerospace truly is. I quickly developed a desire for physics and calculus during those years and saw that the best place to continue growing in those respects was to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.

During those years, I was fascinated with wind tunnels and aerodynamics, and I spent many hours investigating this field. Leonardo da Vinci said, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” My abilities and dreams have set me apart from my peers in the strong perseverance and dedication I approach tasks, great or small, and I want to make an impact in the aerospace community.

Education, Experience, and Hobbies

My sophomore year I began Undergraduate Research for a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, where I worked on the Sling Loads project. The scope of this project was twofold: to investigate the stability of a complex aerodynamic sling load on a helicopter through experimental aerodynamics testing and computation fluid dynamics. I had the privilege of working on both sides of this project and devising and running experiments in the large wind tunnels was a fascinating part of my research. Also, the computation fluid dynamics dimension of the project taught me coding in FORTRAN 90 and using various software such as TechPlot 360 and FUN3D.

Moreover, undergraduate research has helped me learn how to adapt to new situations, find solutions to the unforeseen problems that arise in research, how to integrate well into a research team, and how to manage my time efficiently. My freshman year for one of my aerospace classes I created a satellite defense system in which I investigated a missile system launched from LOE to intercept ICBMs and the feasibility and costs maintenance of such a system. Also, for another of my classes I along with four other students completely disassembled an RC helicopter and with great detail modeled it in AutoCAD and SolidWorks. We learned much about design-oriented modeling and product development.

I also am a devoted PLUS Leader, having won PLUS Leader of the Year 2010-2011 Award. Through training and experience, I am becoming an accomplished public speaker and trained in the Supplemental Instruction Model which focuses on collaborative learning. Having led Calculus II and III, I have also greatly strengthened my foundations in linear algebra and vector calculus.

In my leisure time, I enjoy playing the piano and guitar, I am currently working on the harmonica, and I plan to learn the harp when time and money allows. I was the piano/keyboardist for the youth at my local church since early high school. I play by ear and enjoy doing improvisations on the piano whenever I am in the mood for a good piano jam; however, I am also drawn to the technical side of music and am an avid reader on music theory, learning classical pieces, and Beethoven. When I am not surrounded by music, I enjoy volleyball, football, and swimming. Moreover, every year I look forward to skiing in the winter somewhere up north, and one day to go skiing in the Swiss Alps.

Future Plans

I plan to graduate from Georgia Institute of Technology in the spring of 2013 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Mathematics with a focus in Dynamics and Differential Equations. Afterwards, I plan to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology for an M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. Furthermore, after taking a class in system dynamics and controls, I wish to pursue a career in aerospace engineering with a focus in controls engineering.

For the rest of my undergraduate academic career, I plan to be involved in controls research with autonomous vehicles and multi-agent consensus protocol theory. Also the next school year, I plan to win first place in Georgia Tech’s Inventure Prize because I have a passion for inventing new things and discovering innovative ways of doing old things. Also, I want my inventions to inspire me to run a personal business in the future.