Tell Us about Yourself
I am currently working toward my Ph.D. in Explosives Engineering.
What AEOP program(s) did you participate in?
Words of Advice?
CQL is a great program. College students looking to make connections that will help with future employment should seriously applying to CQL. It will give you a new perspective and invaluable experience in addition to a deep network of industry leaders.
Best Things about the Program?
Through my CQL experience I had incredible networking opportunities. I worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) testing a prototype that would be used to determine the speed of sound in powdered explosives, verifying the speed of sound in air and water. This experience helped me determine that I want to work with the Department of Justice (DoJ) on counter-domestic terrorism research after I graduate. I gained valuable experience working with different types of research equipment and met with researchers at the ATF and DoJ.
How Participating in AEOP Inspired You to Advance in the STEM Field?
Through AEOP’s Technical Symposia Award program I was able to travel to and present my research at the International Society of Explosives Engineers conference. Many of my ATF colleagues were there, as well as professionals in the industry, and I received great feedback. It was a fantastic experience that I would not have had without participating in AEOP. Also, thanks to CQL, I was inspired to identify a doctoral research project that is connected to counterterrorism. I am studying the effect of explosives on different materials, a phenomenon that is not well understood and could result in significant advantages in designing blast resistant structures.
As a result of the program
I gained invaluable experience conducting research and establishing connections. Working with my mentor and many others in the ATF, I was able to see firsthand what ATF agents do and why the ATF is such an important agency. A guest speaker who spoke about being a part of a bomb squad for 20 years inspired me to pursue a career in counter terrorism. Having served a tour in Afghanistan, I was able to understand the need for research to counteract the effects of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) firsthand.