Aerospace talent in Texas lauded – Houston Chronicle – Houston Chronicle

Photo: Andrea Rumbaugh

Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, talks at an event in League City hosted by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018.

Most University of Texas aerospace engineering students will likely remain in the state to work for NASA, government contractors, startups and a host of other technologically advanced organizations, according to David Daniel, deputy chancellor for the University of Texas System.

“Don’t worry about young people being interested in aerospace,” Daniel said Thursday at an aerospace conference in League City hosted by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. “Boy, are they interested.”

There are about 1,000 undergraduates and 350 master’s or doctoral students who are studying in Arlington and Austin. They will deepen the state’s talent pool and help ensure economic growth in an ever-advancing technological society, he said.

Already, the talent pipeline – and succeeding job market – is strong in Texas, Daniel said, but a potential constraint could be one of perception.


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Aerospace, for instance, conjures up images of planes or rockets. But in reality, the sector has expanded to include robotics, artificial intelligence, medical devices and more.

Students, he said, need to know of those broadening potentials. The University of Texas, for instance, has programs focused on composite materials and the recovery of oxygen from carbon dioxide. Both will help humans reach Mars.

Researchers at Texas A&M University are examining supersonic flight, and they’re creating food that astronauts eat in space. Rice University teaches its students about space policy.

“There’s an enormous business opportunity that’s going to happen somewhere, and jobs are going to be

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