Aerospace Aspirations

Please submit a one page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s). This essay should include the reasons why you’ve chosen the major(s), any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would like us to know. If you are applying to more than one college or program, please mention each college or program to which you are applying. Because our admission committees review applicants by college and program, your essay can impact our final decision.

With my parents beside me, I stepped through the door and onto the flight deck of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier. Immediately, I was surrounded. Military aircraft from all through history glistened in the sunshine, just waiting for me. Each aircraft was unique, yet one aircraft in particular captured my attention and refused to let it go. The largest aircraft at the museum, the A-12 Blackbird stood alone in the corner of the flight deck. Its midnight color and aerodynamic fuselage captivated me. The A-12 boasted a design dissimilar to that of any plane I had seen before. Its forward fuselage made up half of its length and its stealthy profile had no protruding parts. Face to face with the aircraft, I grew hungry for knowledge. I wondered about its very existence. I wanted to know how it worked and how it was built. From that moment on, I began to feel certain that understanding these mechanical contraptions was my calling.

Carnegie Mellon is, for a future aerospace engineer, the ideal university, a place where research comes alive. For the remainder of my academic career, I hope to obtain a PhD in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on aircraft optimization and design. I believe that it is an atrocity that quick travel around the world is possible, yet is a luxury unaffordable to most. I hope to fix this situation by reducing the costs associated with air travel by eventually starting my own company and producing aircraft that are cheaper and more energy efficient. The world is here for us to explore. No one should be burdened by costs that make it prohibitive to visit family or to go on vacation across the globe. Taking advantage of Carnegie Mellon’s Engineering-MBA Integrated 5-year Program would allow me to best accomplish this business and engineering goal.

The Carnegie Institute of Technology offers both specific assets and a broader atmosphere that fit my academic needs. Within the expansive curriculum for Mechanical Engineering, one course in particular interests me the most. Taught by Associate Professor Jeremy J. Michalek, Decision Tools for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship will provide me the basis and knowledge of design optimization. Without this initial foundation, I cannot begin conducting my study. Through the Summer Research Fellowships, I would cherish the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of Professor Michalek and refine my ideas into tangible results. Having written over eighty publications on design optimization and headed the Design Decisions Laboratory, the main facility I would use for my investigation, Professor Michalek would be an excellent mentor for my research. But such mentors would abound in my new studies. In addition to the Design Decisions Laboratory, the Carnegie Institute of Technology offers many other facilities such as the Doherty Hall facility and the Engineering Design Research Center, allowing me to delve into research topics such as materials and aerodynamics in my overall quest of aircraft optimization.

Upon obtaining my PhD, I would use the information I collected in aircraft optimization to open my own company and bring my data to reality. A Master of Business Administration degree from the Tepper School of Business would give me the best opportunity to accomplish this. The elective classes in management and entrepreneurship, in addition to the core curriculum, offer me a strong base in starting an independent enterprise. Specifically, the Integrated Product Development course mirrors my goal in guiding students through the product development process. Through this class and under the direction of Professor Jonathan Cagan, I will get a taste of what it will be like to market my own aircraft in the future. From experiential learning to venture capital exposure, the Tepper School of Business will ultimately benefit me and my aspirations.

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