Research Assessment 1

 

In the first article published in Space Daily, recounts the new technology and mind set that is being used to design more fuel efficient aircrafts of the future. It specifically addresses Joaquim Martins’ leading research at the University of Michigan. He is using the NASA’s computing systems as well Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputer to run huge calculations in order to take many factors into consideration while attempting to increase fuel efficiency rather than just increasing the efficiency of one part, sacrificing the other areas of investigation.

After reading this article, I learned more about the current research in the aerospace engineering field. There is still many ways to improve air travel, which is only one sect of aerospace engineering, and that gives me hope and motivation to continue pursuing the field, regardless of estimated 2% job decline. The new technology that allows the bending and flexibility of the composite materials should open up new areas to study and a whole new way to approach the task of improving aircrafts. Fuel efficiency would decrease costs for the consumer and also would help our environment. I agree with the article and think it is very important to dedicate time, energy, and resources towards increased efficiency, and continuing to try to improve the technology we have currently.

I am going to need to read findings from the AIAA, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, because they convene every year and discuss the advances in my specific field. Their academic journals will be a very good resource for me throughout this year. I also need to spend some time learning the basic terminology and getting more exposed to the background knowledge necessary to thrive in aerospace. While reading the article, I could keep up and comprehend what I was reading, but I realized there is a lot I still need to learn and should start with the basics and move up, rather than just diving in and expecting to understand and keep up with professionals.

This article also made me realize that my interests in aerospace engineering is more in NASA and commercial rockets (e.g: SpaceX), military airplanes and helicopters, rather than commercial airplanes. I enjoy being part of a governmental organization, and since NASA has lost significant funding, commercial space exploration companies have stepped in, so I would love to work there as well.

One thing I have been struggling with so far in ISM is finding articles that are not specifically about the technology and the intricacies, but more about the career itself. That is why I also included the very basic outlook of the career and similar careers.

One of my favorite things about engineering is that you only need a Bachelor’s to enter the field and can pursue higher education later in life or while you are working, but only a Bachelor's degree is necessary in order to get your foot in the door and have real life experience, rather than just learning about theory for ages. This will also save a ton of money since college is very expensive and it takes a long time to pay off student debt. Higher education is only necessary for research heavy areas and to become a professor. I am also on the right path to get into engineering. By the time I graduate I will have seven math credits and two physics credits. Part of the reason why I think aerospace engineering would be a good career field for me is because I naturally pick up math and genuinely enjoy math, especially higher math - specifically calculus.

The median salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $107,830. It would take a while to reach the point where I would be earning that much, since the average salary for college graduates with a degree relating to mechanical engineering is $72,000. The median salary is a salary that I would be content with especially when combined with the image of me working in a field I legitimately enjoy.

I think I will enjoy the design and testing aspects of aerospace engineering more than the thermodynamics and flight mechanics at least at the moment, because I have little knowledge about those two areas of specialty and I need more experience and knowledge before diving into the complexities of it.

This research has helped me realize how important research will be this upcoming year and has helped me narrow down my interests a bit more. It also taught me my passions in improving current technology and increasing efficiency. The next steps would be to continue researching the different areas of specialty and to think about my original work and the possibility of me physically building or designing a feasible aircraft, helicopter, or rocket.

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