Master's Profile: Fanny Besem

Fanny BesemCurrent Position: Application and Consultant Engineer at NUMECA-USA Inc. (San Francisco, California)

Undergraduate: BASc, Mechanical Engineering & Physics, University of Liege (Belgium)

Duke MEMS Path: Master of Engineering (MEng), 2012; PhD, Aeroelasticity, 2015

Why did you choose Duke MEMS for graduate study?

I come from Belgium and I chose to study at Duke University because of its strong aerospace research program and the knowledge and international reputation of the professors in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.

How did your time at Duke prepare you for your current job?

Studying aerospace engineering at Duke was an amazing experience that allowed me to interact with people from all over the world. The program stresses the importance of teamwork as a key skill in the global economy. The skills I developed by working with students of different cultures and backgrounds have been of tremendous importance during my career.

What were some of the highlights of your experience as an MEng student?

I liked the variety of classes in the MEng program; it opened my horizons further, beyond the aerospace field. I learned about business and entrepreneurship, in addition to my specialization in mathematics and aerospace. This diversity of skills made me a stronger job candidate.

Classes are small and the professors are always willing to spend time when you need extra explanation or guidance. I always felt a great support from the department and the professors during my master's degree program.

The Pratt School of Engineering also offers many opportunities for extracurricular involvement, from organizing student-led social events to giving back to the community by building houses and introducing K-12 students to science.

Between the state-of-the-art courses and the Duke spirit that runs through the campus, I am convinced that studying aerospace at Duke was the best choice I have made for my future.