QuynhGiao N. Nguyen

QuynhGiao N. Nguyen

Lead for Hypersonic: High Temp, Durable Materials


NASA

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
As an undergraduate, I found a mentor who worked at NASA in the field of materials engineering.
I was able to observe his work and started to think about it as profession and then pursued it.
During my first year of graduate school at Cleveland State, I was assigned an advisor.
My advisor ended up being a physical chemist, which was a field I was already interested in.
From there, it was up to me to figure out which specialized field I wanted to pursue.
I got an amazing opportunity from NASA, which was a full-time job offer while in graduate school.
I finished my MS and accepted the job offer. It took longer than my original goal to finish my PhD.
I've been blessed. Working hard, being open to opportunities & challenges allowed for more choices.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Diploma
undergrad
Bachelor
Chemistry, General
Notre Dame College
graduate
Graduate
Chemistry, General
Cleveland State University
doctorate
Doctorate
Chemistry (Dissertation: Volatility of Titanium Dioxide in Water Vapor for Aerospace Applications
Cleveland State University
Career

Career

Lead for Hypersonic: High Temp, Durable Materials

I help NASA accomplish goals by addressing technical challenges, building teams & solving problems.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Engineering
Engineering
Science
Science
Problem Solving
Problem Solving

Day to Day

A great day starts with me meeting with my team in their lab facilities and being lucky enough to witness a test, and perhaps even setting it up. I'll get the opportunity to watch in real-time and see what we’ve worked on developing for weeks, months, and sometimes years, all come together right in front of our eyes. When we see results like that, we're all cheering and smiling, and I get to sit back and feel thankful that I was able to be a part of it all.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

My technical background has helped me in the past few years make the transition over to project management. What I've learned is that communication is key. I always wanted to break the stereotype of the quiet, nerdy scientist, so I like to get out there and let my team hear my voice as a team coordinator and as their advocate. Communication skills are essential in my line of work. Learning to pause, breathe and exercise patience while meeting deadlines are necessary to thrive in this discipline.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Talk to people working in this field. Be the feet on the ground. Get an internship, shadow an engineer, volunteer and certainly never stop being curious. I'd also recommend joining organizations. I joined a National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry - Iota Sigma Pi. This non-profit organization helps women (professionals and students); promote/mentor chemistry-related careers and education.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
any STEM degree
graduate
Graduate
Materials Science/Aerospace Engineering/Chemistry
doctorate
Doctorate
Materials Science/Aerospace Engineering/Chemistry
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Go back to your own country. You're stupid. You don't have to be smart to be successful."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant
Learning Issues
First-Generation College Student