Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

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Natasha Barbely

Georgia Institute of Technology

After receiving her B.S. (2011) and M.S. (2014) in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Natasha (Barbely) Schatzman returns to pursue her doctorate (expected graduation May 2018) while working as an aerospace engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, where she specializes in rotorcraft aeromechanics and aeroacoustics research.

How did you get interested in vertical flight?

My first day at NASA was a day I will never forget. I was a sophomore, and entering the gates of NASA Ames was intimidating yet exciting. My mentor, Dr. William Warmbrodt, took me to the NFAC 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel; as I stepped inside, my life changed forever and my passion for vertical flight began. While at NASA Ames as a Co-op (NASA Pathways Intern) and now its civil servant, I have been able to support acoustic efforts for the Boeing SMART rotor, Tiltrotor Test Rig (TTR), and Mars atmosphere helicopter, just to name a few. I am grateful to be in the Aeromechanics Branch, and I want to make sure that NASA's reputation continues to be respected as one producing high-class research. I thank the members of the Aeromechanics Branch and also AFFD for helping me continue improving my professional career.

What impact has receiving the VFF scholarship had for you?

Receiving the VFF in 2010 and 2012 helped me out tremendously. Without the financial help from VFF, life would have been very difficult and even more stressful while doing a full load of classes and undergraduate research at Georgia Tech. Thank you to all who have donated to support all the recipients.

Being a member of AHS has been rewarding. While at Georgia Tech, I was an AHS member in the Atlanta Chapter and held officer positions, including President. I was able to give one-on-one advice to students, including numerous talks to young women to inspire them to go into STEM fields and hopefully increasing their interests vertical flight. I have continued to be a member of AHS and have held officer positions in the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

I will remain to support and be an active member, AHS has done so much for me and I will continue to give back to the vertical flight community.

What are some of your current projects or research interests?

Currently, I am in graduate school working on my PhD under the advisement of Professor Narayanan M. Komerath. I am able to continue my research in rotorcraft aeroacoustics, which supports my professional work at NASA. Professor Komerath has been a huge help to my success; he has been able to prepare me for many of the difficult technical problems I encountered at NASA. Georgia Tech has been crucial in developing my skills and stimulating my vertical lift passion. Many professors, in particular Professors Lakshmi Sankar, Jechiel Jagoda, Marilyn J. Smith, and Daniel Schrage have helped guide me professionally and personally.

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