Wright Scholar

Jacob Eaton

Hometown: Miamisburg, OH
Aerospace Systems Directorate

Jacob Eaton, a graduate of Miamisburg High School, spent his summer performing experiments with Aerodynamic Interface Planes (AIPs) that measure pressure recovery in the wind tunnel at AFRL.

Eaton explains that the goal of this research is to achieve high-pressure recovery so that aircraft can achieve the greatest range.

"Air Force pilots must be able to travel as far as possible and to get the most performance out of their aircraft," he said.

Eaton said that he is grateful to his mentor for translating complex material into simple terms that he could easily understand.

Aerospace Engineer Brock Pleiman said he reflected on his own intern experience when he accepted the role of mentor.

"I was hesitant to ask questions since there was no one close to my age," he said. "They were all older with decades of engineering experience, so it was rather intimidating. It's much easier to approach someone who is closer in age to you," he explained.

Eaton said he learned a great deal from his mentor, especially during a guided tour of the Air Force Museum in which Pleiman explained the displays from an aerodynamic perspective. Later during the Dayton Air Show, Eaton followed his mentor's lead when he provided commentary for his dad and brother.

'It was fun to be able to talk to them about what I had doing [during my internship] and show them a real life example," he said.

Eaton said that he enjoyed the hands-on experience working in an aerodynamic environment. Overall, the internship helped him to build confidence and better understand his place in the world. He is now certain of his path and excited about career opportunities in mechanical engineering.

To learn more about this field, Eaton attended networking events and asked engineers about the differences between industry and government jobs. Ultimately, he decided that working for the Air Force appeals to him the most.

He explains that the allure for him is the opportunity to do cutting-edge research and work for a great cause.

Eaton will attend The University of Cincinnati this fall. He hopes to return to AFRL as a co-op.