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Aug. 11: Carnegie Mellon's Eric Blood Spends Summer at NASA Working on Innovative Flight Research Systems


Chriss Swaney

Carnegie Mellon's Eric Blood Spends Summer at
NASA Working on Innovative Flight Research Systems

Eric BloodPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Eric Blood spent the summer building a database of maneuvers for Boeing's novel X-48B unmanned aircraft at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.

"This has been a fantastic experience and a great way to apply some of my engineering knowledge," said Blood, a senior mechanical engineering major at Carnegie Mellon.

The 21-year-old from Rochester, N.Y., said his ultimate goal is to fly what he designs. His quest to dabble in aeronautical engineering came in 2008 when he was selected to receive an American Society of Engineering Education fellowship. The fellowship included two years participation in the organization's Aeronautics Scholarship Program and a summer internship at a NASA center.

"Eric is an excellent example of the intelligent, innovative students who use their engineering studies to pursue both their dreams and their career objectives in today's highly competitive global work environment," said Nadine Aubry, head of Carnegie Mellon's Department of Mechanical Engineering. "We are extremely proud and honored by Eric's entrepreneurial spirit and creative initiative."

Blood, who vows to learn how to fly later this year, also studied the spin characteristics of the X-48B demonstrators to learn more about the stability, control and recovery quality of the demonstrator, which sports a 21-foot-wing span.

"I would ultimately like to get into some kind of aeronautical design work and this summer internship gave me a real taste of what it's like to work at NASA," said Blood, an avid trumpet player and outdoorsman.

When he's not tinkering with engineering classes at Carnegie Mellon, he's minoring in music. "The pursuits of design engineering and performance music are very similar. The end result of both is the delivery of a harmonious product to the desired audience, whether it's an expressive concerto or a well-designed aircraft," Blood said.

Before heading back to the books, Blood will do some sightseeing in California's Mojave Desert and then drive back to the East Coast via Missouri to visit relatives. 


Pictured above is Eric Blood, a senior in mechanical engineering.