December 10th, 2009
Engineering is not a career for everyone, aerospace engineering especially. These programs require years of diligent study, alongside a devotion to the subject. Aerospace engineering combines the design, construction, and science of aircraft and spacecraft, making it one of the most applicable engineering degrees for the modern era. There are additionally two smaller branches within the overarching field of aerospace engineering: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering, thereby creating an even more specialized industry. However, many students of aerospace engineering are now not only those from an “engineering” background, but students from all different walks of life, essentially allowing any type of student to enter degree programs.
There are many famous aerospace engineers, many of whom had to struggle to make it through college and the tough engineering classes. Currently, one of Georgia Tech’s offensive linemen is struggling to make it through aerospace engineering classes while still playing games every week during college football season. Sean Bedford has become one of the exceptions in the world of college football, taking classes like High Speed Aerodynamics, making a high GPA, all while traveling around the country to play in different bowls. His current schedule consists of fixed wing senior design, jet and rocket propulsion, high speed aerodynamics and flight dynamics. If Bedford says anything about the program, it is that you have to be career minded to pursue both football which takes up most of his time, and still make time for his studies.
Aerospace engineering is an ever-changing industry, as scientists make more and more discoveries into the world of both aeronautics and astronautics. Therefore, students are compelled to learn different studies every year relating to their industry while still maintaining a high GPA to ensure they receive a decent career after graduation.
Charles J. Camarda is another aerospace engineer who came from a background in which it was not set in stone whether he would even attend college. One of the only NASA astronauts who has a Queens accent, Camarda has proved to the aerospace program that you do not have to come from an affluent family in order to succeed within aerospace engineering. Receiving his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, his master’s from George Washington University, and finally his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, it appears that he had his goals set in mind all along. While he was one of the first NASA scientists to boast a New York accent, he is no longer alone, as more and more students are finding ways to succeed in engineering programs despite their troubled backgrounds and busy schedules.
Aerospace engineering is not for everyone, that much is clear, but for those who have always lived and breathed the science, it is an outlet for learning how rockets really are created. In essence, it is rocket science.