Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S. Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, May 2014
James Felder, Dr. Gerald Brown, Timothy Dever, and Jeff Berton
Hometown: New York City, NY
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” –Nelson Mandela
This quote sums up the way I look at life. I think every day is about being the best you can be so that you live up to your true potential. It’s not about comparing yourself to others or who you were yesterday because that will only bring you down. True focus is about taking your passion to the next level and pushing yourself every single day. If you do this, then you’ll never settle in life and never have to question what would have been if things were different. I want to take advantage of my potential and all that I can do so that tomorrow I can say that I lived a full life and made the most of what life offered me.
Education and Experience
I’m currently pursuing a dual major in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Upon graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering.
At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, I’ve worked at a couple of different labs. From September 2011 to December 2012, I worked at the Advanced Computational Research Lab to research the mechanical properties of two dimensional materials using a molecular dynamics simulator called LAMMPS. My work resulted in a publication, where I am the third author. From September 2012 to the present, I work at the Center for Flow, Physics, and Control (CeFPaC) under Professor Michael Amitay along with a research engineer and PhD candidate. At CeFPaC, I assist on a project funded by Northrop Grumman to study transonic flows to decrease radar detection. I also help by developing CAD models for machine processing and three dimensional printing and processing data in DaVis for imaging applications in flow fields. From January 2013 to the present, I work at the Advanced Autonomous Multiple Spacecraft Laboratory (ADAMUS) with a group of five undergraduate students. We assist in the design of a retractable differential drag sail for a cube satellite, for which we will draft a publication and patent.
Hobbies and Interests
Outside of my coursework and research, I work for the Mechanical, Aerospace, & Nuclear Engineering Department Student Advisory Council at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I enjoy providing my input to make the department better for the students as well as helping in the hiring process of new professors. I also tutor students in classes such as mathematics, physics, and fundamentals of flight. In my free time, I learn Indian classical singing and Kathak, a form of Indian classical dance. I like watching movies, spending time with my family, cooking, doing yoga, and reading. I just finished reading “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and would recommend it to anyone who wants to make the most of his or her life. I think it’s really opened my eyes to a new way of living life. Another good book I always recommend is “The Odyssey” by Homer because it’s my favorite book off the Western canon.
In the future, I intend on successfully completing a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. I would like to become a professor and focus my research interests in active flow control. I want to use active flow control to better the design of an aircraft and impress my family with what I’ve done. My research experience at CeFPaC has helped me realize these goals and become more passionate about the field of aerospace engineering.