Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Job: Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) as a Hypersonic Test Analyst
MS Program: MS Engineering: Mechanical Program
Why did you choose UTC CECS?
I chose UTC CECS because I connected with my advisor, Dr. Sree, when I was an undergraduate student here. He helped me submit a conference paper based on my senior design project which started my journey in research. When I graduated, he had an exciting opportunity for me to work in the Hypersonics Lab in the SimCenter as a graduate student while I completed my masters. I knew I was going to study computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in a place with leading experts in that field as well as an amazing supercomputing facility in the SimCenter.
What is your career ambition and how is the MS program helping you get there?
I wanted to break into the aerospace industry, specifically CFD /aerodynamics. It seemed like every job I wanted required a master’s degree at a minimum. Once I started applying for jobs with MS on my resume, I ended up with several great opportunities. Also, our faculty are connected to industry leaders - people I interviewed with knew my advisor and other UTC faculty, which gave me an advantage. The MS program gave me the vital experience, both in the classroom and the lab, that I needed to launch my career in aerospace.
What have you liked about the MS program?
I like how I was able to tailor my courses to CFD related subjects. I took classes which directly related to the work I was doing in the lab, which made me improve my skills on a daily basis. Also, I like the small class sizes; I got one-on-one help from instructors and made meaningful connections with my classmates.
Did you take any online courses?
I took a numerical analysis course online which gave me flexibility. I found it easy to watch the recorded lectures on my own time and email the instructor with any questions.
What opportunities have you had during your degree to gain other skills?
As a graduate research assistant (GRA) in the Hypersonics Lab, I gained all the skills I needed to land my dream job. My skill set will translate 100% into my job, and I have the opportunity to present my research at conferences.
Have you had support from CECS faculty/staff?
Yes, I had full funding through Dr. Sree and my GRA contract. He has taught me everything I know about CFD and always answered my questions. He also helped me through my job search. Also Dr. Margraves and Dr. Ranjan both taught courses (advanced fluid dynamics and viscous flow theory) which I learned a lot in furthered my interest in the field.
How has the program helped you?
The program gave the edge I needed to break into the aerospace industry. I gained knowledge and experience which will be fundamental to the work I’ll be doing, and confidence in my ability to work in a research environment.
What has been the best part of your experience?
The best part has been working in the lab with Dr. Sree. Running experiments and learning new things is so much fun and it’s something I’m going to miss.
The graduate programs here will give you a rigorous education in a close-knit environment. Reach out to your professors and classmates and you’ll find yourself building a great network to jumpstart your career. Be sure to look out for funding opportunities as many faculty are looking for GRAs. I cannot recommend UTC CECS enough!
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