Prior to joining Honda Aircraft Company, I held a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, where I earned my doctorate in Fluid Mechanics and master’s degree in Applied Mathematics. My doctoral research encompassed an array of topics, ranging from unsteady aerodynamics of flapping flight to aeroelastic bifurcation theory and energy harvesting. I pursued my undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California, where I majored in Aerospace Engineering. For me, pursuing engineering and research was a natural progression as I’ve always been interested in understanding how things work.
My primary role as an aerodynamics design engineer is to understand and characterize flow physics with the aim of determining an aerodynamically-optimized “surface” that defines our next-generation airplane. I take on this challenge by leveraging various tools and methodologies, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), wind tunnel experiments, flight tests and, of course, analytical hand calculations.
Working at a company like Honda Aircraft presents a myriad of opportunities, as well as challenges, to help me grow and achieve more in life—both at professional and personal levels. There’s clearly a high degree of expectation from our leadership in terms of competence, expertise and performance, but you will be rewarded by delivering these things successfully. In addition, our company places a strong emphasis on nurturing collaboration and sharing of knowledge and ideas, which in turn drives the kind of creativity and innovation that sets Honda Aircraft Company apart from others. My colleagues are all very busy, but if you ask them for time, they are always willing to sit down and share their knowledge and expertise. Since I started working here, I’ve found a great amount of happiness and satisfaction, which is largely attributable to my great colleagues and mentors who helped me get acclimated and up to speed as I made the transition from academia to a corporate setting.
Towards the end of my doctoral study, I came to realization that my career interest does not exactly lie in academia, where it can take years, if not decades, to achieve tangible results. I started to gravitate towards a more fast-paced, collaborative environment where I can still continue to exploit my fluid mechanics background and problem-solving skills, and I felt HAC was a perfect fit for me.
I believe strong analytical grounding, good command of mathematics and keen physical intuition are must-haves. In order to excel as an engineer or scientist, one must be able to identify and diagnose a problem, formulate a model to analyze it, and then interpret and summarize the results. In this job, one is constantly challenged by real-world problems (not some “textbook” problems with known, predictable answers), and one has to be able to meet those challenges by thinking analytically. Being able to think analytically and out of the box is very important to conquer real-world problems.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, and pursuing hobbies and interests, including golfing, playing the piano and reading.