MEng Space Engineering Ambassador Ezekiel Willett
Undergraduate Degree: Aerospace Engineering from MIT
What drew you to the MEng program: I was drawn to the program because of its focus on both the engineering and the management aspects of space systems. I had been exposed to a significant amount of aerospace engineering in the classroom as an undergrad, but I had never really been exposed to a curriculum also concentrating on spacecraft/program management and development. The MEng program blends spacecraft engineering with systems-level management, such as detailed proposal and requirement development, creating a unique learning experience that prepares students for work on space systems in industry.
One of your favorite things about the program: There are a couple of aspects that I really enjoy about the MEng program. The first is the integration of industry projects into the curriculum. In the two project courses, AOSS 582 & 583, students are able to work with aerospace industry companies such as Orbital ATK, Northrup Grumman, JPL, and others on semester “capstone” projects. This collaboration allows students to potentially contribute to a funded program within these companies, and it provides an excellent platform for recruiting summer interns and full-time position hires. Secondly, I enjoy the academic diversity of the MEng program. My class has students who majored in aerospace and mechanical engineering, physics, and engineering physics. Especially when working together, these backgrounds bring new ideas to the table and provide a different perspective on problem-solving.
Advice for potential MEng students: I would advise students to strongly consider the MEng program if they are interested in both the engineering of spacecraft as well as program and systems-level management. All students who pursue a graduate degree in engineering are going to be exposed to a sufficient amount of technical content. The MEng program will complement the technical content with the program-level knowledge to demonstrate how a space program matures from a proposal to operations. I have seen that the combination of these skills is very desirable in industry, and in my case, allowed me to excel in a systems engineering focused summer internship.