Hisham Ezzaldeen

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Hisham Ezzaldeen

Specialty: Satellites and outer space applications

Current position: Astronaut engineer

Growing up in Syria, I have always wanted to study engineering, specifically related to satellites and outer space applications.After graduating from Al-Basel high school for honored students in 2008, I got two options for attending college. I got into Informatics Engineering at Damascus University and I also got a full scholarship to Arab International University. I decided to attend AIU due to their English based curriculum and credit based system which proved valuable later in the U.S. It was a good experience in which I met a lot of new friends. In 2010 I got the opportunity to travel to the United States, that trip was the start of my dream in pursuing space engineering studies. The first few months in the U.S were a transition in which I took a few English composition courses while working part time. After 1 year I got into George Mason University where I was studying Systems Engineering.The transition was a great step for me as it was my first real experience in a large higher institution in the U.S. I met many great people and was able to get more involved in the community through the university While systems engineering was not my main interest, it helped me shape my career focus. I started looking into transferring to Virginia Tech to study Astronautical Engineering, then I started working on my application to Virginia Tech in 2011 as the process took time and resources. Virginia Tech is one of the best engineering public schools in the U.S so it was a big concern for me to adjust my schedule and work towards my Virginia Tech application. I heard many great things about Virginia Tech through the people that went there, everyone said they loved studying and living there. The nature is beautiful and the community in general is very friendly. In April, 2011 I got my acceptance letter from Virginia Tech and It felt awesome as I realized that I was actually starting to achieve my dreams back then. I started school at Virginia Tech in 2012 and while it was a challenge to keep up with difficult curriculum and research work, I worked as hard as I could to maintain an excellent GPA and stay involved in the social life. Time at Virginia Tech was gorgeous, I made a lot of great friends and established many professional connections that continue to help shape my career. This time was also the corner stone in starting my relationship with space companies like NASA and others. In 2015 I got the wonderful opportunity of working on designing a Mars rover with a team from Virginia Tech for NASA, following that I completed my bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and was offered a full scholarship to continue with graduate studies and work towards a doctor of philosophy degree which included full-time research work. I earned a Masters’ degree in 2016 and I am still pursuing my PhD research which is focused on small satellites command and control. I have also had the pleasure of working on many NASA and other space based project along with interacting with many professionals and scholars through multiple conferences and presentations. In January, 2017 I am starting a new full-time job in the small satellite discipline associated with NASA

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