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Posted in Student Life by on November 4, 2014



Where is home for you?
I was born in Des Moines, Iowa USA but I call a lot of places home. I attended High School in Bismarck, North Dakota, spent 6 months in Delft, The Netherlands while studying abroad and worked in Hsinchu, Taiwan for 3 months on my undergrad research project.

So what brought you to London?
I’m studying a Master’s of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Queen Mary University of London.

That’s a pretty impressive a job title. What inspired your interest in Aerospace Engineering?
From a young age, I’ve always liked to tinker with things so knew I was destined for engineering. It wasn’t until High School that I found my passion for Aerospace Engineering. Competing in The National Rocketry Competition in Washington D.C. is what opened my eyes to aerospace. I go back every year to see old friends and see what the next generation are developing.

Have you experience a defining moment in your career so far?
I think my defining moment would have to be when I was selected for NASA’s prestigious Propulsion Academy last year. I was one of 12 people selected from 1,200 applicants.

I never through I would actually get chosen for the programme. When applying, we were given a deadline of 4pm. On the day of the deadline, I was still editing my essay at home in Iowa. I suddenly realized that the deadline time was in Eastern Standard Time which was 4 hours ahead of Iowa time, meaning I had 30 minutes to complete the assignment. It was a close call but thankfully got it submitted in time.

You’ve met a lot of interesting people, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A retired astronaut and guest lecturer during my undergraduate degree at Iowa State University said that the most important thing in life is to develop and protect your reputation.

Everyone fails at some point in their career. How have you dealt with failing and overcome it?
I was selected to be a group leader of a design project with Boeing. I struggled with managing the group dynamic and was asked to step down as group leader. Unfortunately group politics are unavoidable but I learned not to disvalue the importance of a team as with different personalities, come new ideas.