Meet our Grad Students

 

Fall 2016 Cohort

 

Hulya BilerHULYA BILER
Hometown: Antalya, Turkey
Faculty adviser: Anya Jones

Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Antalya, Turkey. My interest in Aeronautics started in high school. The thing that attracts me the most about aeronautics was the nature itself. I moved to Istanbul to study Aeronautical Engineering in Istanbul Technical University. I got a Fulbright scholarship to complete my MS in UMD. I am interested in Flapping wing applications, Gust studies and Low Reynolds number flows. Along with the studies, i enjoy swimming, abstract art and chess.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
The thing that attracts me the most about aeronautics was the nature itself. What are your plans post-graduation? PhD

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
I would like to improve my knowledge in aerospace

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
I was studying Gust characterization for flapping wing applications and Anya Jones was studying the same topic.

Hobbies
Swimming, art


Jason CraneJASON CRANE
Hometown: Bethlehem, CT
Faculty adviser: Imraan Faruque

Tell us about yourself.
Jason grew up in the small town of Bethlehem in Northwest Connecticut. He was active in Boy Scouts from an early age and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. In high School, he was on the tennis and wrestling teams, becoming captain of the school’s tennis team his senior year. Drawn by a thirst for knowledge, a desire to see the world, and serve his country, he applied and was accepted to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. While at the Academy, Jason was a member of the YP squadron and was active in numerous intramural teams. His First Class year he served as company honor advisor and vice president of the schools AIAA. Jason applied for and was granted an Engineering Duty Officer option. He graduated in May 2008 with a 3.74 GPA, earning an Aerospace Engineering degree and a commission in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. His first duty assignment was onboard the USS Tortuga (LSD 46) forward deployed in Sasebo, Japan. While onboard Jason served as OE division officer, Weapons Officer, VBSS Lead Boarding Officer, Force Protection Officer, and First Division Officer. He performed his duties effectively and critically during the ships demanding schedule, which included bilateral exercises with Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand and numerous certifications and inspections, including Insurv. At the end of his tour he received the Navy/Marine Corp Achievement Medal. Jason completed his Surface Warfare qualification, was redesigned as an Engineering Duty Officer, and transferred to the Naval Postgraduate School, enrolling in the Space Systems Engineering Program. In May 2012 Jason was promoted to Lieutenant. He graduated Naval Postgraduate School in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering and a 3.80 GPA. His thesis work was investigating the experimental Rotational Detonation Engine. He reported to the National Reconnaissance office and served as a Project Manager for a satellite system, providing force enhancement data to Combatant Commanders, forward deployed forces, National Command Authorities and senior DoD decision makers.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
I enjoy research and would like to pursue a career in Aerospace R&D. I already have my master's degree in Astronautical Engineering and getting my PhD is a great next step towards my goals.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
UMD has a highly ranked and well-funded Aerospace Department, the research opportunities match my interest, and I like the location in the DC metro area.

Hobbies: Board Games, Travel, Investing, Weight Lifting, Reading (history and sci-fi), Snow Boarding, Hiking

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
Someone has to get us to Mars ;-)

What are your plans post-graduation?
Private Industry R&D

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I have a betta fish named Humphrey Bogart.


JOHN JULIANO
Hometown: Monrovia, MD
Faculty adviser: Kenneth Yu

Tell us about yourself.
I attended the University of Maryland for my undergraduate work. While there I did my honors thesis on measuring heat transfer using fiber optic temperature probes.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
To continue my research in heat tranfer at AEDC tunnel 9

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
Proximity to my research

Hobbies: Sports

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
It interests me and I knew little about it

What are your plans post-graduation?
Work at AEDC tunnel 9

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I follow nearly all sports and spend nearly all of my free time w a thing sports in some regard


Caitlin KingCAITLIN KING
Hometown: Bothell, WA
Faculty adviser: Norman Wereley

Tell us about yourself.
I grew up near Seattle and got my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at George Fox University. Most of my free time has been spent with my high school's FIRST Robotics team, which I helped start during my junior year of high school. Despite going to college in Oregon, I frequently drove north for the weekend to help with the competitions. I've picked up video editing to stay involved with my team during the rest of the year and have found that I really enjoy that. Besides that, I really enjoy rock climbing and watching the Seahawks play.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
I've always loved space and recently realized that my love of mechanical structures could pair nicely together. My overly specific long-term goal is to become a structural engineer on the rockets that send astronauts to Mars. While I know that this plan may change, it's helping me go in a good direction until I find something I want more.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
Besides the great program and reputation, everyone I've interacted with at UMD has been so helpful and friendly. While the full funding was the main deciding factor for me, I was pleased to find that UMD was my first choice anyway.

Hobbies: Rock climbing, video editing, FIRST Robotics

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
I grew up loving astronomy but didn't really think about aerospace engineering as a career until my junior year of college. I applied for a NASA scholarship and part of the application was writing an essay about what my future application plans were. I made up a story about how I was going to get my master's degree in aerospace engineering and then work for NASA. It turned out to be a pretty convincing essay because it not only won me the scholarship, but it also helped me realize that I had an awesome plan that I should definitely pursue.

What are your plans post-graduation?
Become a structural engineer for NASA

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I've wanted to get a pet rabbit for over a year now. I love playing with fluffy animals, despite being somewhat allergic to them.


Jinseong LeeJINSEONG LEE
Hometown: South Korea
Faculty adviser: Derek Paley

Tell us about yourself.
I love space, sky and sea to explore somewhere while doing outdoor activities with people. I worked in a Marine of Corps of the Republic of Korea and experienced SCUBA and Skydiving, and swimming/boating for 2 mines to survive in the sea during military service. Those experiences became good asset for me to grow up as a space engineer. I worked at space agency before studying in the UK for my MS degree. Based on our strength in physical and mental health, I wish to put our best enthusiasm on research and activities during our PhD and make good team work all with you.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
3 Keywords in the UMD: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Jeong H. Kim (Korean) Neutral Buoyancy lan for aerospace research

Hobbies: Cycling, Jogging, triathron, soccer, bowling, singing

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
I love space and spacecraft to explore beyond our habitat. It is to know where I came from and who we are now. Aerospace engineering has the methods to solve those questions for me. What are your plans post-graduation? National aerospace agency or company

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
If you need someone to study or play with, or feel lonely, feel free to call me. I will be your best friend for you even when you drink.


Mario MondalMARIO MONDAL
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Faculty adviser: Inderjit Chopra

Tell us about yourself.
I am from Bangladesh, a small country in south Asia. I grew up there until I was 20. Then, I came to the United States with my family to chase a bigger dream. I completed my B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering at UMD. Now, I would like to earn my M.S. in the same major. I have a great passion for the flying vehicles because they are so cool! I am an active member of AIAA and American Helicopter Society (AHS). I am also involved as a Youth Secretary at Bangladesh Christian Association, Inc. in Washington DC Metropolitan area. I go to church every Sunday. I love to help people. I believe that if I help people, I will be helped too.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
I earned my B.Sc. degree in Aerospace Engineering, and I would like to widen my knowledge and continue my education in the same field of study.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
I was a student at UMD as an undergrad. UMD is second home to me, and I don't want to leave my home. Did you visit our campus before making your decision?

Hobbies: Digital Photography, Travelling, Kayaking, Playing Cricket

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
It is the coolest and most rigorous engineering among all, and I feel proud to introduce myself as an aerospace engineer outside.

What are your plans post-graduation?
Work full-time. I would like to work for US Government.

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I am married, and I watch so many movies. I love to spend time with my family and friends.


Wanyi NgWANYI NG
Hometown: Flagstaff, AZ
Faculty adviser: Anubhav Datta

Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ, the nation’s first Dark Sky City and home of the discovery of Pluto. I attended public school before receiving a scholarship to attend Duke University, where I studied mechanical engineering. Throughout high school and college, I continually trained in ballet and messed around in modern, jazz, and latin as well. I spent my summers attending dance programs, working on a civil engineering project in Brazil, and interning at NASA Goddard. I am working with Professor Anubhav Datta on electric aviation. I am currently dancing part-time with DC Contemporary Dance Theatre and will be a NASA Pathways Intern in the spring of 2017.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
Growing up with interest in space and physics, I eventually found my way to mechanical engineering as a broad major within which I could explore different applications. A variety of factors led me to focus on aerospace – among them, an internship at NASA with exciting projects and inspiring people, as well as a hope that space industry technology can lead also advancements in renewable energy. What are your plans post-graduation? Working at Goddard and continuing to dance in the DC area

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
As a mechanical engineering major, I found aerospace to be an interesting field of application. After interning at NASA Goddard, I decided I wanted to gain more knowledge in aerospace engineering and learn from a long-term independent research project.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
The UMD aerospace engineering program seems well established and connected in both research and industry, and I received a very good funding package for a masters program. I got along well with the other aerospace graduate students when I visited campus, who all gave positive evaluations of the program.

Hobbies: Dance, hiking, rock climbing, stargazing, singing, figuring out easy and tasty meals to cook

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
My list of favorite places nearby includes Great Falls, the rooftops of DC apartments, and the Silver Spring farmer’s market – I’m looking for places to add to that. I am a proud alumna of Duke, and I tented for basketball tickets, but that doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with beating UMD at basketball. If you have a pet, apologies in advance if I pay more attention to the pet than to you.


Laura PaquinLAURA PAQUIN
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Faculty adviser: Stuart Laurence

Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in The City That Reads until I moved to South Bend, IN, to study engineering at the Univ. of Notre Dame. After spending one summer dropping dishes, I terminated my career as a waitress and since then have held internships for GE Aviation and Northrop Grumman in Maryland, Florida, and California. I am excited to have returned to the Crab Cake Capital of the World and to begin my graduate studies.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
In high school I was deeply interested in two things: physics and track & field. At one point during my 8 seasons of jumping, my AP physics teacher sent me documents outlining the physics of high jump--how my CG would move under the bar as I flew above--and I have since retained a fascination with aerodynamics.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
I had a significant experience doing undergrad research, loved participating in AIAA conferences, and was encouraged to pursue a PhD by my professors. I have also held 3 internships and generally found myself disenchanted by industry work.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
Mostly my adviser. I got to visit him in the fall before beginning grad school apps. He then also facilitated me visiting once more in the spring after I was accepted. Out of all the potential advisers I met during grad school visits, he was the only one who met with each of his advisees individually weekly and showed a genuine interest in their progress as well as that of his students from class. We discussed possible projects for me, and he encouraged me to explore topics that I had not touched in my undergrad research. I was also impressed by the grad students I met. They congregated to answer my questions, gave me their candid advice, and even let me participate in setting up an experiment with them. Finally, the partnership with Tunnel 9 will allow me to obtain data in a world-class facility while pursuing my degree.

Hobbies: Running, skiing, sailing, ultimate frisbee, pulling pranks

What are your plans post-graduation?
Probably to take a nap.

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I once ran through a final exam (Mechanics) in a gorilla suit. I like to celebrate obscure holidays. For example, happy National Waffle Iron Day.


Atif SalahudeenATIF SALAHUDEEN
Hometown: Lawrenceville, NJ
Faculty adviser: James Baeder

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
To become a more qualified candidate for jobs and to expand skillset

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
The Combined B.S./M.S. program

Hobbies: Board games, hiking, movies

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
I was really interested in aircraft and spacecraft as a kid.

What are your plans post-graduation?
Get a job


Kyung-Hoon ShinKYUNG-HOON SHIN
Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Faculty adviser: Ken Yu

Tell us about yourself.
I came here with my family, my wife and 23 month son. I am very interested in high speed air breathing propulsion system. I love to hang out with my colleagues. So when you have fun, please let me in.

Hobbies: Watching Movies

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
I am deeply interest in propulsion system, since my elementary school years. Thus, I chose aerospace engineering department when I entered university.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
During my work experience in aerospace engineering fields, I felt some shortage to solve some problems. I believe graduate degree will help me solve problems in the future.

What are your plans post-graduation?

Back to work


ZACHARY SMITH
Hometown: Crownsville, MD
Faculty adviser: Anya Jones

Tell us about yourself.
I did my undergrad studies at RPI in Troy, NY dual majoring in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. I conducted undergraduate research with Dr. Farhan Gandhi, a UMD alumn. I am from Maryland and excited to be in an area I know. I am always looking to get outside and hike, ski, or rock climb. Very excited for the next step of my career here at UMD and to get to know everyone!

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
To reach the career levels I want to obtain I need a master's degree. I also love research and being involved with it, so I wanted to continue with this.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
It was the best offer I received, it is close to home, I wanted to experience a larger university after going to a smaller undergrad university, and it is the best program.

Hobbies: Hiking, skiing

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
I have always wanted to fly. Not just in a plane, but like a bird. As I was starting to plan my college career in high school, 2 things happened that set me off. The first; Ironman. The movie came out and I was hooked. Why can't we fly like that? Why can't I step outside and blast over to another state or country. This was something I wanted to obtain. The second event was that I went hang-gliding for the first time. The feeling of freedom in the sky was amazing and something I wanted to more easily achieve and pursue.

What are your plans post-graduation?
Industry

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I am always up to meet new people, go explore the area, or go on adventures. So if you're doing something fun for the weekend, make sure I get that invite.


ERIC SOLOMON
Hometown: Woodcliff Lake, NJ
Faculty adviser: Inderjit Chopra

Tell us about yourself.
I went to UMD CP for 4 years.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
The program is great and my research lab is great.

Hobbies: Musicianship, outdoor sports, exploring local music

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
It is really cool and useful.

What are your plans post-graduation?
Start a company

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
Everybody chill.


ALEX WALTSAlex Walts

Hometown: Rochester, NY
Faculty adviser: Christine Hartzell

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Alex, and I am originally from Rochester, NY. I recently graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, and am now at UMD pursuing a Master’s degree in the same field. I absolutely love outer space, and have every intention of applying to become an astronaut in my future. I have completed three internships with NASA, two of which were at Goddard Space Flight Center right here in Greenbelt from August 2013 to May 2014 where I was with the observational cosmology department, and the third was at Kennedy Space Center over the summer of 2016 where I was working on an ISRU component for the next Mars lander. I’m currently trying to earn my private pilot certificate, and hope to continue that effort in the local area. I’m very excited to be a part of the UMD community and the aerospace engineering department and love learning more about the aerospace field. Go Terps!

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
Several reasons: 1) I loved my undergraduate program and would like to pursue more in depth knowledge of the subject through 400-700 level courses 2) I've always wanted to undertake an aerospace research project to see a different side to academic study 3) I would like to be more marketable in the industry as an engineer with a graduate degree

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
Again several reasons: 1) Financial incentive through a university GTA 2) The opportunity to possibly conduct my graduate research at NASA-GSFC where I previously completed two internships 3) Out of the schools I was admitted to, UMD is the closest to home (Rochester, NY). This is a nice bonus after having lived all the way down in Florida for four years. 4) Due to being at GSFC for a while, I'm already familiar with the area, and slightly familiar with the school 5) Dr. Hartzell's research, and all the work done in the UMD AE department, really closely aligns with what I'd like to study.

Hobbies: Flying, freemasonry, baseball, motorsports including NASCAR, waterskiing, music, any outdoor activity, target shooting

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
From a young age I was always a hands on learner by building with anything I could find. As I got older and saw how awesome the shuttle program was, I wanted a way to combine mechanical design/engineering with space, and thus went into aerospace engineering.

What are your plans post-graduation?
I'd like to work in the space industry either with NASA or with a supporting contractor. Wouldn't rule out a lot of private companies out there either.

Don't be shy. What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
Fun fact: I love any kind of water-sport, especially water-skiing and I have even dabbled in barefoot water-skiing. I also play a few brass instruments so if anyone wants to do a jazz band/brass band session, just let me know.


Xiao ZhangXIAO ZHANG
Hometown: China
Faculty adviser: Elaine Oran

Tell us about yourself.
I was born in the eastern part of China and lived there for more than 20 years. 2 years ago I just started my new life in the U.S. in the U of Michigan after I got my undergraduate education in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in Tianjin University, China. My primary interest is computational fluid dynamics since undergrad and still would be numerical analysis in UMD with my supervisor Dr. Oran.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?
Both naval and aerospace engineering are pretty cool to me and here is the right place for me to achieve more in dynamics and computing.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering?
It's where I see my future as an expert in numerical analysis.

What made you choose UMD for graduate school?
Good advisors. Great location.

Hobbies: Reading, learning Japanese, painting, swimming

What are your plans post-graduation?
Still planning. 

Don't be shy.  What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I am so interested in painting on canvas recently and I would like to take some art classes nearby on weekends if there is any. Any clues or advices would be appreciated! Join me if you like

 

Fall 2015 Cohort

 

 

 

UTKARSH AGGARWAL
Hometown: Dehradun
Hobbies: Reading books, playing field hockey


 

 

 

 


WIAM ATTAR
Hometown: Rockville
Hobbies Listening to music. Basketball

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
I chose aerospace engineering to advance my knowledge about this field of study.



BRETT BARKLEY
Hometown: Rockville
Hobbies: I enjoy going to Eppley Recreation Center to workout, doing brazilian jiu jitsu, and watching and playing rugby on occasion.

Bio: I am a first year MS/BS graduate student here at the University of Maryland. I completed a dual-degree in engineering physics (from Elon University) and in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland last spring. I have had internships at companies including AAI, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?            
It is the hardest and most exciting engineering! Who wouldn't want to study in a field that produces "rocket scientists."

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?     
I sleep walk and I have been known to play rap music too loud in my car (think the opening scene in Office Space).

 


JEREMY CHANG
Hometown: Bel Air
Hobbies: TV, Driving, Cosplay, Gaming, and reading

Bio: My name is Jeremy, I'm an Aerospace Engineering grad student, and I love making things, both for science and in my free time. I love watching TV, and going out to explore new places, which I look forward to doing around UMD!

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
It's where I want to be! It's where I feel I can make a difference.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
Do research in Academia or for NASA/APL, etc

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?     
I like to work hard at things, and while I may get off track from time to time, I'll make sure the task at hand gets done. I always enjoy a chance to wind down and go somewhere for fun.

 


ALEX COSTENOBLE
Hometown
: Port Washington, NY
Hobbies: Formula SAE, Humans v. Zombies

Bio:I was born and raised just outside New York City, on Long Island. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by all kinds of mechanical systems—trains, cars, construction equipment, but especially planes. In fact, some of my earliest memories involve running out onto my front lawn to watch Concorde on its approach to Kennedy Airport. So I knew early on that I wanted to go into engineering, and soon decided on aerospace engineering. I attended UMD for my B.S., and having taken a year off, I’m now coming back for my M.S.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?            
I always knew I wanted to go into engineering, and aerospace is a good field for turning cutting-edge technology into deployed, mass-market systems, which will actually have an effect on people's day to day lives.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
To get a job in the aerospace industry

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?     
I'm partial to Pokemon, although I haven't played that much competitively. But I'm trying to get a team going.

 


DANIEL ESCOBAR
Hometown: Towson, MD
Hobbies: Scuba Diving, Golf, Ice Hockey, & Traveling

Bio: I'm from Towson, MD. I went to Cornell University for my B.S. I studied Mechanical Engineering and am excited to focus more on rotorcraft dynamics for graduate school as I pursue my M.S. Besides school I like playing sports and doing other outside activities. I also have my student pilots and hope to receive my private pilot's license.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
I've always been interested in flight and would really like to work in the rotorcraft field. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies as an undergrad, especially in the field of dynamics, and wish to apply my knowledge to the aerospace field. I had a research project on Martian rotorcraft drones and this experience convinced me to pursue the field.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
Find a job! I plan to work in the private sector or start my own company.

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?     
Many people find this hard to believe, but I don't like chocolate.


BRIAN FREE
Hometown: Chesapeake City, MD
Hobbies: Reading, driving, juggling, music, longboarding, dogs, exercise, programming, Jackie Chan, Friday Night Lights.

Bio: I am staying at University of Maryland to earn my PhD in flight dynamics and controls. Throughout my undergraduate career, I discovered I had a proclivity for mathematics, programming, and robotics. Working in Dr. Paley's lab will be a great way to mate these interests with my degree in aerospace engineering.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
I checked the wrong box!

What are your plans post-graduation?  
Cannot predict now

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?     
My brain is a random word generator. For example: dog couch tall dog film dog


GABRIEL GOODWIN
Hometown: Baltimore

Bio: I was born and raised in Baltimore and attended Owings Mills High School. I received my BS in mechanical engineering from UMD in 2011 and then joined FM Global as a field engineer. After working for FM for three years, I decided to return to UMD for graduate school to pursue my passion for aerospace engineering. I try and spend as much as my free time outdoors as possible- hiking, backpacking, camping, and just hanging out. I love to read, listen to music, and watch movies.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
Space exploration has been an area of great interest for me since I can remember.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
Work for a company involved in space exploration.

 


BUMSEOK LEE
Hometown: Busan, South Korea
Hobbies: Reading, Swimming, Mountain Climbing, Travelling

Bio: I was born in South Korea, and I earned my B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). After completing my master's degree, I worked as a missile aerodynamic engineer for four years at LIG Nex1, the largest missile manufacturer in Korea. I participated in several missile R&D projects related to the man-portable anti-tank missiles and helicopter-launched missiles. During my work, I was able to visit several research facilities in the United States and Canada, and these inspired me to pursue a PhD study in the United States.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?           
When I was in my second year of high school, I watched the news about the successful development of South Korea’s first anti-ship missile, the SSM-700K Sea Star. The footage of the missile being tested on the news completely enthralled me, and since that time I envisioned my career as an aerospace engineer.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
I hope to continue my path as a research professional in universities or institutions.

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?     
I have two goals for my life. One is to read the Peloponnesian War written by Thucydides in ancient Greek, and the other one is to succeed in triathlon. If somebody is interested in pursuing the above goals with me, please let me know. I will buy beer!


PETER OAS
Hometown: Laurel, MD

Bio: In one sentence, I am an introverted Christian who likes adventure and learning new things. I enjoy being out in nature, I am a vegan, and I will argue with people about almost anything, as long as they reciprocate.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
Helicopters fascinate me.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
The future is a blank canvas.

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?     
I own a cat/kitten named Webster. I think service is really important, so that's why I'm currently building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Kansas City. I don't do sports.


LUCAS PRATT
Hometown: Columbia, New Jersey
Hobbies: Running, Fiddling with computers

Bios: I grew up in rural New Jersey (which, despite stereotypes, does exist) on 108 acres of horse stables and pastures with numerous animals. After high school, I attended Yale University for my undergraduate degree in Chemistry, with a research focus on catalysts and organometallic chemistry. After graduation, I joined the Science Policy Fellowship program at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., where I focused on issues in the space sector, in part leading to my application to Maryland.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
I want to specialize in the problems of space transportation, in particular so that I can work on advanced propulsion systems such as beamed propulsion, solar and electric sails, and nuclear-electric. I view faster and more efficient travel as incredibly important in the long-term, with a number of creative avenues to pursue and (relatively) few people pursuing them.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
PhD Program


UTSAV SAXENA
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Hobbies: Working out, Kayaking, Hiking, Listening to traditional and folk Indian music, Discussing philosophy and politics, etc.

Bio: I am a Gator grad with dual majors in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from 2011. I have worked the last 4 years as a contractor for Pratt and Whitney on their commercial and military engines' control systems. I am looking to get into a more R&D type career and am excited to go back to school full-time to gain more expertise.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?           
I believe in human exploration and expansion into the extra-terrestrial environment as necessary for our advancement. I also like robots and always think of how to automate tasks that range from the mundane to those requiring artificial intelligence. Ideally I'd like to work some day on the control laws of spacecraft like rovers that traverse other planets or moons.

What are your plans post-graduation?    
Work for NASA or Sandia National Labs in R&D

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I am recently married and my wife is a high school math teacher. I was flying airplanes before driving cars.


TYLER SINOTTE

Hometown: Fond du Lac, WI

Bio: I grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for my undergrad, where I studied Engineering Mechanics with a second major in Astrophysics. I graduated this last December (2014) and have been working at Mercury Marine as a structural analyst for the past eight months.

Hobbies: Soccer, basketball, board games, and reading.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?         
I have always wanted to be an engineer. After taking classes on aerodynamics, flight dynamics, and rocket propulsion, I knew that aerospace engineering was the field that I wanted to pursue. In addition, my astrophysics courses have motivated me to work on engineering projects that help enhance our understanding of space.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
Work in Industry at an aerospace company.


MARIUS STROM
Hometown: Loretto, PA
Hobbies: Climbing, running, backpacking, camping, praying

Bio: I have been a nerd as long as I can remember. Between competing in annual science fair competitions, building robots from re-purposed electric screwdrivers, and celebrating Pi Day, my credentials were established fairly early and with great support from my family. Growing up, these, along with significant outdoors experience in the Boy Scouts, filled out the bulk of my time, but there was always room for more. I was excited to hear stories of bush pilots on the frontier, or of my granddad’s flight time during World War II, and decided to pursue a private pilot’s license in gliders as well, which is easily one of the most awesome experiences I have ever had. Between these interests in flying and engineering, I earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering at Daniel Webster College, but then, following God’s call, entered the Franciscan friars after graduation. The Franciscans that I joined are a group of men vowed, as in marriage, to serve Jesus Christ in poverty, chastity, and obedience under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church. I have been a part of this group for almost three years now and look forward to many more.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
My community of Franciscan friars assists at a pair of universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the latter of which houses a pair of 4-year engineering programs. With a significant interest in teaching, I hope to earn a higher degree in aerospace engineering (particularly that subject given my background, interests, and the limited time that I have to earn the degree that limits my ability to cross disciplines) so as to be able to teach in those programs.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
To teach and serve as needed


LAUREN TROLLINGER
Hometown: Solomons, MD
Hobbies: Volleyball, hiking, camping, reading

Bio: I was born and raised in Southern Maryland. As an undergraduate at UMD, I played on the Women's Club Volleyball team, was actively involved in Alpha Omega Epsilon sorority and the UMD AIAA chapter, worked on UMD's Human-Powered Helicopter, and conducted research on synthetic jet actuators. I am very glad to be returning to UMD to conduct research with the rotorcraft center!

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
I grew up around the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, and was inspired by the air shows over the summer and the planes and helicopters at the Naval Air Museum. After that, studying aerospace was a no-brainer.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
I hope to design advanced concepts aircraft after graduating.

What else should your fellow grad students know about you?
I have a minor obsession with hot sauce: I have a collection for my favorites, and I was a bottle of original Tabasco for Halloween one year...

 


THOMAS WHALEN
Hometown: Quincy, MA
Hobbies: Lacrosse, fishing, hiking, video games, reading.

Bio: After graduating from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in physics, I worked at the Chandra X-Ray Center in Cambridge, MA. Now I plan on pursuing research in hypersonics while student in UMD's aerospace engineering program.

Why did you choose aerospace engineering as your field of study?       
I wanted to join a field with practical applications that also utilizes the physics foundation that I gained as an undergraduate. Specifically, I was interested in the design of hypersonic vehicles, and aerospace engineering provides a viable method of achieving that goal.

What are your plans post-graduation?  
Academia or defense firm.