My current job is my first full time job.
PhD Student in Advanced Composites
University of Bristol
PhD Student, 23 years old, Venezuelan.
I am a second year PhD student in Advanced Composites at the University of Bristol. I moved to Bristol (and to the UK) in September 2015. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, the capital of a beautiful country located in the north of South America.
I did my undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
My hobbies are running, reading, watching sports (football fan) and cooking. I also love to learn new languages and travel. Right now, I’m trying to learn Italian.
I am a music fan; I could listen to many different types of music: from Alternative and Indie Rock, to Latin Rhythms like Salsa, Merengue or Bachata.
I research on morphing wings for aircraft
Unlike airplanes, birds have the ability to change their wings’ shape and position during flight, meaning that they can adapt their bodies depending on the altitude, speed and stage of flight they are performing. This makes them more efficient: they are able to minimise the amount of energy they need to spend to fly, which means they can fly for longer periods of time. If birds were not able to do this, they would get tired a lot quicker, they would fly slower or would not be able to reach certain altitudes.
My work consists of finding ways to deform aircraft’s wings during flight so they can adapt better to different flight stages and be more efficient. Similar to birds, if airplanes could adapt their wings to the flight stage and not just fly with a single wing shape (like they currently do), they would consume less fuel and would be able to fly longer.
My Typical Day: Run simulations, do lots of maths and going to the lab when experiments need to be done.
I setup and run computer simulations of aircraft wings and use them along with mathematical calculations to design morphing wings. Most of my work is from the structural point of view, i.e. I design the shape, the material that will be used and make sure that they wouldn’t break when flying!
At some point in the near future, I am going to start manufacturing my designs and then testing them in a wind tunnel. The idea is that we can actually estimate how much fuel could we save if we use these new concepts.
What I'd do with the money
STEM research essay competition in selected local schools
I would like to organise a STEM research essay competition in selected schools in Bristol area. The competition may potentially involve a writing & research seminar for students that sign up for it. Winners would be awarded with a visit to our research facilities at the University of Bristol, where they would be involved in an exciting day of lab work in our structures and materials workshop.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Organised, learner, curious
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Teaching to undergraduate students
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Football player, perhaps…
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I have many: U2, Coldplay and Oasis are few of them
What's your favourite food?
Arepas (Venezuelan traditional food, look it up!)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went gliding few months ago, and it was awesome. Also, I ran a half marathon last summer, and it was a great experience
Tell us a joke.
I’m not good at jokes, however, some people say that I smile/laugh a lot and they find it funny.