A Cedarville University junior with exceptional academic and athletic abilities, leadership, and integrity, Bryan Earwood is completing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree while balancing work responsibilities, student leadership initiatives, and international missions outreach.TeachersBox had the opportunity to sit down with the former NASA research intern for a Q & A on his academic preparation and future aspirations.
TBox: Good afternoon Bryan. You’ve accomplished a great deal in your academic career. What do you think prepared you to excel as a college student?
BE: Perhaps the strongest influence in my college preparation was the classical curriculum at Summit Christian Academy, with its heavy emphasis on grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic. The grammar stage taught me to dissect sentences and analyze paragraphs. The rhetoric stage trained me to think logically, to articulate ideas clearly, and to debate effectively. And the dialectic stage equipped me to conduct proper research and to professionally deliver my findings with confidence. In addition to Summit’s exceptional program of studies, I benefitted from two year’s attendance at the Governor’s School for Science and Technology. Completing the computer science track as a junior and the engineering track as a senior taught me the value of rigorous work. In addition to preparing me to take college level courses, the Governor’s School experience also led to a mentorship at Advanced Technologies Incorporated, where I gained valuable experience conducting an engineering process, meeting deadlines, defending decisions about my design, and operating within a budget.
TBox: That is quite a resume, but since then you’ve gained more engineering experience. Talk to our readers about that.
BE: For the past two summers I’ve had the luxury of interning at the NASA-Langley Research Center. As a result, I conducted Structural Analysis of an X-29 aircraft wing box to calculate functionality via computer simulation, utilized a 3-D modeling system to digitize the composite wing structure of the X-29 aircraft, drafted a Matlab script to associate material properties in Excel to corresponding finite elements in a Patran model, and analyzed load cases that modeled in-flight simulations to determine the structural integrity of the current X-29 wings.
TBox: That sounds like a great opportunity. At the end of the day, what was the best part of that experience?
BE: My work with NASA culminated in the opportunity to co-author an article entitled “Design and Analysis of a Tow-Steered Composite Aircraft Wing” which was submitted as a technical publication for approval by NASA-Langley.
TBox: That sounds very interesting. What has enabled you to balance so many activities?
BE: Time management continues to be critical. Since matriculating to college, I’ve been awarded a Cedarville Academic Grant, an annual merit based partial tuition award given to students who maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average. And last year, I was selected for the Cedarville University Dean’s List. I am a Mechanical Engineering student, and maintaining my 3.30 GPA in courses like Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Mechanical Engineering Lab, and Properties of Engineering Materials requires that I prioritize my time effectively. The discipline that I’ve developed from balancing my academic, athletic, and volunteer activities has helped me hone leadership traits that I hope will make me a valuable asset to any organization.
TBox: Quite impressive, Bryan. What are your long term career aspirations?
BE: Between my passion for engineering, my classical school preparation, and my previous experience at Advanced Technologies and NASA, I hope I’ll be able to make an impact. One of my favorite verses is “study to show thyself approved,” from 2 Timothy 2:15, so I intend to graduate with a mechanical engineering degree from Cedarville University and to pursue graduate studies at Virginia Tech. My ultimate goal is to create real world solutions, so while on an international mission trip to Liberia, it was very exciting to see a light solution and a water filtration system and that my team engineered put to use.
TBox: You never cease to amaze me, Bryan. What role did TeachersBox play in securing your internships?
BE: My father, Greg Earwood, facilitates financial aid sessions at TeachersBox workshops which provide parents with intuitive options to finance their child’s college education. TeachersBox has personal statement tools that help clients garner scholarships for undergraduate and graduate school, so as I prepared my NASA and John Deere internship applications, I worked with TeachersBox to ensure that I dotted every “I” and crossed ever “T” so to speak. They updated my resume and proofed my cover letters.
TBox: Thank you Bryan. We wish you all the best in your internship at John Deere.
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