National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Samuel Tucker Browne

Samuel Tucker BrowneCornell University

  • M. Eng. in Aerospace Engineering May 2013
  • B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (Duke)

NASA Academy Research Project:

Alternative Fuels/Subsonic Fixed Wing & Environmentally Responsible Aviation

Principal Investigator:

Jennifer Suder Klettlinger
Research Chemical Engineer

Hometown: Panama City, FL


Academic and Work Experience

  • Americorps VISTA Internship(Summer 2008)
    • Summer Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity; managed building of houses by volunteers; over 460 hours of community service
  • Pratt Fellow Researcher Duke University (Summer 2010)
    • Paid research fellowship; investigate aeroacoustic effects/reduction of noise from jet engines through use of novel nozzle design
  • Research Papers:
    • The Effect of Nozzle Geometry on Shock-Cell Noise (May 2011)
  • Research Projects:
    • Non-planar Wing Design for Optimization of Military UAV Constraints(2010-2011)
    • Aeroacoustics of Supersonic Flow, MEMS, Duke University (2009-2011)
    • Changes in Population, Land Use, Water Surface, and Rainfall in Southeastern Texas (07-08)
    • Centroidal Voronoi Tessellations (CVT) and Satellite Imagery Applications (2006-2007)

Memberships and Activities

  • United States Air Force (Commissioned as 2nd Lt.), Aug 2007-Present
  • Tau Beta Pi, 2011-Present
  • Pi Tau Sigma, Aug 2009-Present
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Aug 2008-Present
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2008-May 2011

Honors and Awards

  • Graduate with Departmental Distinction from Duke University (May 2011)
  • Cum Laude Latin Honors in B.S.E. from Duke (May 2011)
  • Dean’s List – Duke University (2007-2010)
  • Pratt School of Engineering Research Fellowship – Pratt Fellows (Aug 2009-May 2011)
  • Daedalian Scholarship Award (May 2010)
  • Robert C. Byrd Scholarship (2007-2010)
  • Tufts Simulex Fellow (Aug 2010)
  • Commissioned as AFROTC Distinguished Graduate (May 14, 2011)
  • Selected as Cadet Wing Commander (Aug 2010)
  • Field Training Superior Performer (2009)
  • Detachment 585 Top Underclass Cadet (2007-2009)
  • Commander’s Scholarship (2008-2011)
  • Valedictorian A. Crawford Mosley High School (2003-2007)

Skills and Certifications

  • Computer Languages and Programs
    • C, C++, Assembly, Java, LATEX • Flash, HTML, CSS, Maple, Matlab, Mathematica, LabView, ArcGIS, Solidworks, Audacity, Logic Pro
    • Flight Training (30 hours, have flown solo)

Hobbies and Interests

  • Playing Soccer
  • Flying
  • Surfing, Swimming
  • Running
  • Volunteering
  • Programming

Personal Statement

For as long as I can remember, maybe longer, it has been my goal to be an astronaut. Growing up, my dad was an F-15 instructor pilot and my mom was a teacher who oftentimes collaborated with NASA, so I was constantly marveling at fighter jets or listening to stories about space. My unique background and goals instilled in me an uncommon curiosity in science and aviation that, throughout my life, has motivated me to follow my dreams. One step at a time, I am trying to seize chances to learn about the sky and space, become a more educated engineer, and meet people that do the amazing things like put humans on the moon.

Upon the completion of my Bachelor’s Degree at Duke University, one question I had in planning to apply for the astronaut program was, “What career would allow me this opportunity?” After realizing that one of the paths to become an astronaut was through the test pilot program, I endeavored to become a military pilot. My freshman year at Duke I joined Air Force ROTC with the ultimate goal of commissioning into a pilot training program. I will be attending Undergraduate Pilot Training in June 2012, and I hope to use this opportunity as a driving force on my way to the astronaut program.

I am excited about the future and can’t wait to apply my knowledge that I have gained from my academic experiences to my career in the Air Force. A defining, albeit well-known, quote that keeps me motivated goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” One day, I hope that I have that opportunity not only in metaphor, but also in reality.

Professional and Educational Objective

After graduation from Cornell with my Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering, I will begin my career with the Air Force. I hope to do well in Pilot Training, and, ideally, I want to be selected to fly fighter aircraft. From this point, I seek to do two things: attain more education, whether that is another master’s degree, a research opportunity, or a PhD program; and position myself to become a test pilot in the Air Force. After enough time and experience, I hope that this culminates in a successful application to the United State Astronaut program, where I would ultimately want to work. Even if this does not present itself as an opportunity, I definitely want to always be immersed in an environment rich in science, intellectual discussions, and free thought. Working as a researcher for an aerospace company or NASA may be a career aspiration that I would find nearly as enjoyable. Above all, I seek to always be challenging myself and discovering new things, and I think that if I keep a positive attitude and good mindset, I will be successful.