Life as a Junior

Hey Y’all!!!

So whether you’re reading this for the first time, or your a regular reader to the campus blog, welcome to my first post of the Fall 2013 semester! Life as Junior is awesome. As a member of AFROTC, I just completed Field Training over the summer, which was the adventure of a life time.

Completing Field Training was an accomplishment I’ll never forget

As an aerospace engineer, it is exciting to finally sink my teeth into my upper level engineering courses. Actually learning about aerodynamics and thermodynamics, plus all the lovely differential equations that go along with them, makes me feel like I’m starting to finally get the big picture of what aerospace engineering is all about.

Because of the new challenges of my upper level engineering classes, I’ve actually considered switching the focus of my major from aerodynamics to propulsion. This is because I’ve learned to love rockets and jet engines. What’s better then combing tons of liquid oxygen and hydrogen to create an explosion that sends man to the stars? I love studying new materials that are on the forefront of technology. If I focus in propulsion, it means that during my senior design project, I will be able to do a project such as designing, constructing, and testing a fully functional afterburner. Maybe I’ll even do a hybrid sold-liquid rocket motor similar to what a group did last year. Or maybe I’ll do a unique project like an air breathing hybrid rocket motor, or an exotic propulsion method that could send the next generation of human explorers to distant planets. The decision is really up to us students, and the possibilities are only limited by what you can envision. Someday I hope to apply what I learned here at Embry-Riddle and apply them to research that send mankind into stars for good, solidifying mankind’s common heritage of the universe.

See these shock cones? I get to study these. How awesome is that?

Life as Junior is excellent! For the first time I’m living off campus. The only downside to this is that I have to drive every day instead of walking, and gas is expensive. However, having my own house with two good friends as roommates is amazing fun. The classes I’m currently enrolled in are Digital Circuits plus the lab component, Air Force Leadership, Thermodynamics, Aerodynamics, and and MA 441 (advance mathematical methods for engineers). When I’m not busy doing homework for these classes, I enjoy taking advantage of the beautiful weather here in Prescott by inviting friends over and grilling steaks or going for a jog or hike. I enjoy the weekends by hanging out with friends and watching some football or Formula 1.

F1 is awesome. Plus being an aerospace engineer means I understand all the aerodynamics behind these cars

Overall, life is awesome as an Junior. I hope that whoever you are reading this can appreciate what we here at Embry Riddle do. I can’t wait to see where this year takes me, and I will be sure to let you know the amazing experiences I have!

My life in AFROTC so far this semester

As the second semester of my Sophmore year passes here at Embry-Riddle, My fellow Air Force cadets in my class and I got through a training semester known as Field Training Preparation. To understand why we do this, I’ll provide you first with some background information on how Air Force ROTC works in the first place. This information covers questions that I get all the time working as a tour guide on campus, so read up if you want to find out a little more about Air Force ROTC here at Embry-Riddle Prescott!

Your first two years involved with ROTC you are considered a GMC cadet, GMC standing for General Military Course. This means your training is geared towards learning the values and heritage of the Air Force; and general military knowledge that you will use throughout your career. Then after your sophomore year, you will receive what is known as an enrollment allocation. This enrollment allocation, or EA for short, allows you to go to Field Training over the summer. Field Training constitutes of 28 days of military training at Maxwell Air Force Base Alabama and Camp Shelby Mississippi. Upon graduating Field Training, you become part of the Professional Officer Course, or POC. As a POC, you training then focuses on leadership and preparation for active duty service.

Anyways, us second semester sophomore cadets are getting ready to go to Field Training this summer, so this semester is focused on preparing us for this endeavor. We learn about everything from how to properly make a bed and maintain a dorm , to how to march as a squadron. All of this training is received in a military training environment, which makes this semester a bit more intense then my previous three semesters here.

The biggest event on my horizon, and the biggest events for all the cadets in my class too, is the receiving of enrollment allocations. No cadet is guaranteed an enrollment allocation, and cuts are generally made. So all of us are sitting around bubbling with apprehension waiting for the results of the enrollment allocation board to come back in from Maxwell. They should be any day now so we are all very excited.

If you have any questions or comments about anything let me know in the comment section.  I’d be happy to respond to you so don’t be shy!

Veteran’s Day activities/update on progress of freshman year

Sophomore year here at Embry Riddle has been going great so far. This year has been quite the journey, and distinctly different from last year. Let me tell you why being a sophomore is different from my previous years of education, and give you a few specific examples from the past week.

As a sophomore in the aerospace engineering program, I am going through what is colloquially known as “the gauntlet.” Every single aerospace engineer and electrical engineer here at Riddle is quite familiar with “the gauntlet”. It is called this because right now, I am taking courses such as Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, and Differential equations and Matrix Methods. These have been the most challenging engineering courses I have ever taken, but they are incredibly rewarding. After years of somewhat aimless studying in high school, it feels so refreshing to learn about material that I’m interested in. This same material that my professors are covering is material that is heavily used in aerospace engineering jobs today. Speaking of my professors, I’d like to say that they are an amazing group of teachers. For example, Dr. Hayashibara, my fluid mechanics professor, drives us to not just become another engineer crunching numbers, but someone who thinks for themselves and is able to grasp the big picture. As a highly driven person, I love this type of attitude and style of teaching, as it creates future leaders in the aerospace industry, rather than just an office worker. This is why being a sophomore is such a wonderful experience; we are finally learning how to affect and direct the industry that so many people here are passionate about.

Classes are not the only thing going on in my life too.  This past weekend I stood guard for twenty four hours straight at the Veterans Hospital in honor of Veteran’s Day.  Guarding the flag in this manner is known as Vigil. I did Vigil through the Detachment 028 Air Force ROTC Honor Guard, of which I am the commander. We rotated in thirty minute shifts to ceremonially guard the American flag through 18 degree weather. Having the honor to do this was an awakening experience, but we also had a ton of fun too. In our downtime between shifts I was able to spend time with my friends. At Embry-Riddle, you will form a group of really close friends due to the smaller nature of the campus. This is especially exaggerated by participation in activities, such as ROTC or engineering clubs. The group of friends I formed though experiences such as Vigil are people who I trust and I know I will be working with someday as we pursue our common passions for aviation and the Air Force.

Overall, life has been good. School is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The experiences I’m having here only seem to get better with each semester. Until next time!

Peter Davidson, Sophomore, BS Aerospace Engineering

Hey reader! I’m Peter Davidson, a current sophomore here at Embry-Riddle. As much as I love this school, I wasn’t born here, so let me tell you a little bit about myself. I come from the chilly town of Hudson, Ohio (about 30 miles south of Cleveland). I made the 2000 mile trip all the way from Ohio to Prescott for a reason, and that reason was to become an amazing aerospace engineer. Besides working toward my degree in Aerospace Engineering, I am also an Air Force ROTC cadet, and I’m heavily involved with the cadet wing here at Embry-Riddle. I look forward to sharing my experiences as a student and cadet with you as the semester goes on!

Between my hours of studying and other activities, such as commander of the Det. 028 Honor Guard, I find the best ways to enjoy my free time. I have such a large group of close friends here at Embry Riddle, something unique that the atmosphere of Riddle provides. Whether it’s catching a movie, going to the famous Speed’s Deli, or hiking the dells, there is always something to do in Prescott for the adventurous!

I hope you will continue to read my blog as the year goes on. I will be giving you a firsthand account of what life is like here at Embry Riddle. You may find that some of my posts may be reflections of campus life, or perhaps they will be about what I learned in my classes, or simply what we did in Leadership Laboratory in AFROTC. Regardless of what the topics are, I hope you find them enjoyable to read and receive a genuine account of what it is like to attend Embry-Riddle Prescott. So read on about my experiences as they happen to me, and learn why I consider Riddle the perfect school for myself. Enjoy!