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National Scholar graduates with degree in Aerospace Engineering

National Scholar graduates with degree in Aerospace Engineering
ALRON HARRY on graduation day

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NOW THAT he has completed his aerospace engineering degree, 2018 National Scholar, Alron Harry hopes to pursue a career in Propulsion Design and/or 3D component design and modelling in the future.

The 22-year-old graduated from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach,Florida in the USA earlier this month with a BSc in Aerospace Engineering (magna cum laude) with a specialisation in Aeronautics.

“A degree such as this allows you to do a variety of disciplines including aircraft design, 3D component design & modelling, aircraft structural analysis, propulsion design, aerodynamic analysis among others,” Harry told SEARCHLIGHT in a recent interview.

The young engineer said his future plans also involve pursuing a Master’s degree in Data Science, with a specialisation in Aerospace Engineering “to gain more experience in the technological side of things because as you can see, the entire world is going digital, and the tech industry is growing rapidly now more than it has ever been before”.

Harry, who hails from Calder, told SEARCHLIGHT that he developed a passion for Mathematics and Physics during his time at the St Vincent Grammar School and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College. He later realised that these two subjects were critical in the field of engineering.

“I always had a keen interest in aircraft. So when the time came to start thinking of what area I wanted to pursue after Community College, I did some research to determine which branch of Engineering I would be most interested in, and since learning about Aerospace Engineering, every other branch just did not appeal to me as much,” Harry said, adding that the field allowed him to marry his interest for aircrafts with his passion for Math and Physics.

Harry is one of two Vincentians who graduated from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University this month with Aerospace Engineering degrees.

Graduating from his programme with a 3.71 GPA (magna cum laude) is one several highlights of his time spent at University.

The others included designing a small civil jet aircraft in his senior design capstone class, meeting and networking with industry professionals from whom he gained “invaluable knowledge”, touring a Boeing 747 at the Delta Flight Museum, and meeting other students from the Caribbean whom he now considers to be life-long friends.

Harry’s success is also not without its challenges.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that his biggest challenge was most “definitely be getting through each successive semester at Embry-Riddle”.

“Every semester was progressively more difficult than the one before and because they all had their own unique blend of courses, within the first two or so weeks, I had to figure out what was required of me for each course and devise an appropriate strategy or method to get the job done,” Harry said.

“In my first two semesters I worked very hard, but I didn’t have a strategy and I found that this drained me mentally and physically. So I obviously needed to change my approach and that’s when I began to implement different strategies for different semesters to get through them. And over time, although the semesters were getting more difficult and demanding, my grades and mental health were actually improving.”

Having overcome those challenges, the Aerospace engineering graduate advises persons to work smarter and not harder by taking bigger tasks and breaking them down into more manageable ones so that they can be dealt with individually until the entire problem is solved.

Harry also encourages anyone with a passion for aircrafts or spacecrafts and engineering in general, to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering.

“…This area is a vast, multi-faceted and lucrative industry that allows you to work in different areas within the industry. Additionally, the skills learned in this degree are transferable to other areas of engineering as well so you have the flexibility of branching off into other areas you would like later on,” the young engineer said.

Harry was one of 17 persons to receive five-year national scholarships from the government in 2018, for their outstanding performance at the CAPE.

“I would like to give God thanks for blessing me with the opportunity through the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who facilitated the financing of my studies via my National Scholarship,” he said. “I am grateful because my parents could not have funded a degree of this magnitude at such a world-renowned university. I would also like to thank God for my family and friends who provided tremendous physical, spiritual, and moral support and prayers, especially when the workload became overwhelming.”

Harry is also encouraging young persons to seek out and utilise every opportunity available to them and to not be afraid of pursuing their dreams “even if they seem too big to attain”.

“Challenges will come, they are inevitable – but once you stay focused and work relentlessly towards achieving your goals without giving up, you will achieve whatever you set out to do,” he said.

Vincentians, Kaela Barrett and Rhaine Williams also pursued Aerospace Engineering degrees at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Barrett completed a BSc in Aerospace Engineering in 2020 and is set to graduate this year with her Masters degree in the same field.

Williams graduated this month with a BSc in Aerospace Engineering.