Please tell us about yourself. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?

What’s happening right now is not normal. It’s extraordinary. Around the world, there are close to a million people in the air. Out of that million, there are many first time fliers who are straining to keep their excitement (and nervousness) in control. This is a moment they will not forget for a long time.

I want to work on technologies that can make airplanes bigger, faster and more efficient. Throughout my educational career, I have realized that I love the big picture; where sub-systems are mated to each other in perfect unison. It is the proverbial task of enthusing life into the once disjointed set of systems that really stimulates me. A private pilot myself, I have often asked the question “What would the end user (the pilot) do in this scenario?” My tendency to gravitate towards human factors has made me believe that I can help make general aviation safer. (Sadly, general aviation is the most unsafe form of aviation today).

With a degree from Purdue in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, I believe that I can help drive these changes and achieve my overarching goal of making flying more accessible for more people. 

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Tell us about your work

My major responsibilities have included capturing operational requirements with the customer, working with functional domain teams to ensure correct requirements flow, integrating the functional applications on a simulation rig and developing and executing systems tests to verify that the system meets its requirements and certification standards. 

Why did you want to do this co-op/internship? 

During my interview for the position, I was told that a big part of this job involved testing aircraft systems on a simulation rig. (The simulation rigs are essentially true-to-life mock-ups of the real aircraft). As a Design major in AAE and a private pilot, this role seemed to satisfy my desire to pursue Systems Engineering while realizing my passion for flying.  Over the five sessions that I have spent at Rockwell Collins, systems testing has been my major responsibility and I have had the opportunity to spend countless hours in the cockpit of the simulation rig. I am part of the Systems Engineering team for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet that is being built in Japan. From a very young age, I have been fascinated by Japanese engineering and their attention to detail. Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) 70/90, Japan’s first commercial jetliner in over 50 years. Since this is the first commercial aircraft being built by the country in over 50 years, I realized that this would be the best opportunity for me to delve into their culture and gain an insight into their engineering knowledge.     

What do you hope to gain from the experience? 

Through my co-op experience, I hope to further my knowledge of Systems Engineering. Spending four years on the program has helped me analyze the different phases of design and understand the value that each phase holds to the end product. My department has also allowed me to work in a very cosmopolitan environment which ensures that I am that much closer to being a globally cognizant engineer.   

Have you done other co-ops/internships as an AAE student? 

All 5 of my co-op sessions were spent at Rockwell Collins as a Systems Engineer on the Mitsubishi Regional jet.  

What are you ultimate career goals? 

My ultimate career goal is to make flying more accessible for more people. The path I am on today, puts me on track to realize this goal by allowing me to be flexible between engineering and management.