Michael Edwards is working on a Ph.D program to conduct research on Nuclear Thermal Propulsion spacecrafts

Michael Edwards, Class of 2017

My name is Michael Edwards and I am a graduate of the Class of 2017. I attended Bowdoin College located in Brunswick, Maine. I graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor’s in Physics & Classical Studies. I’ve always wanted to be an Aeronautical Engineer and due to not having prior experience in the engineering field, I decided it was best for me to move to Ohio/Kentucky after graduating to jumpstart my career. I started an entry level position as an Aerospace Engineer Technician assembling small engine parts for various aerospace companies. I also started graduate school with Mississippi State University Distance Program in Aeronautical Engineering in January 2022. I am set to graduate in May 2025. I received another career opportunity that ultimately led me to relocate to Houston, Texas in January 2023.

I am proud of the years I had at Soulsville. My years at Soulsville taught me organizational skills with having binders and those colorful dividers for my classes, wearing a blazer with a button down shirt and a tie taught me how to dress in the work world, and time management skills with taking 6-7 courses everyday on top of playing basketball, rugby, and golf. I continued that as an undergrad at Bowdoin and I still continue that same work ethic I gained during my time at Soulsville with a full-time job and graduate courses. I am able to have a good Work-Life-School balance.

Advice I would say is to stick to the plan. After graduating in 2021, we were still at the height of COVID and finding a job was extremely difficult on top of me not having any prior engineering experiences. There will be some days where you want to quit, but please trust the process and as soon as one door of opportunity opens, other doors will begin to open as well.

Currently, I work at Pratt and Whitney Aerospace specializing in commercial engines and airfoils. I have two more semesters of graduate school left and I am planning on pursuing a Ph.D program to conduct research on Nuclear Thermal Propulsion spacecrafts (interstellar space travel). I plan to apply at other aeronautical companies like Lockheed Martin and NASA to have a hands-on job while pursuing my doctorate.

My long-term goal is to work at NASA as a lead aeronautical engineer and to expand our understanding of the Universe and conduct research on abstruse questions humanity has had for ages (i.e are there aliens or are there other Earths, could humans explore the Solar System and possibly other galaxies, etc.).

If you know someone in the STEM field, interested in Bowdoin or even considering moving to Houston, Texas, please feel free to reach out to me.

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