1/29/2019 (updated 4/8/2019)
With an eye for math and a passion for space, senior Cooper Gould has made a name for himself as a well-respected mechanical engineering student throughout the College of Science & Engineering (CSE). His success as a student and peer has set him up for an exciting end to his time at TCU and an even more exciting beginning to his post-graduation plans.
Gould was selected for the Fulbright award to Switzerland, which is a nine-month cultural exchange program. He is the first TCU student to win a Fulbright award to Switzerland. The Fulbright Scholarship program allows college graduates to travel to a country of their choosing to research in their area of expertise or teach English in the country’s local schools. Gould decided to apply for an opportunity in Switzerland on the research route where he would be provided with the expertise and tools to research, develop and optimize morphing winglet on airplanes. The winglet is the flap-like piece on the end of an airplane wing that assists in the aircraft’s directional stability. “I’ve done a lot of research for my honors thesis on morphing winglets, but there is still so much more that I would like to look into. This is why I decided to apply to the Fulbright program with this idea in mind,” said Gould.
Gould chose the mountainous European country as his dream destination because of his experience on the John V. Roach Honors College “Cultural Routes” summer abroad trip, which included a visit to Interlaken, Switzerland. “I absolutely fell in love with Switzerland – being from Vail, how could I not? It is like Colorado times ten! I would be so excited to have the chance to go back and immerse myself in its culture while being able to do valuable research,” said Gould. Gould has even been able to connect with a hydraulics professor Professor François Avellan from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), the 11th most prestigious engineering school in the world, who has agreed to work with him during his time in Switzerland.
Gould will be returning to Los Angeles, California, for a second summer to intern for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the Entry, Descent, and Landing group which will focus on the process of landing spacecraft on other planets. During his first summer as an intern with JPL he worked with the Dynamic and Aerospace group to further his knowledge on aerospace engineering. Gould feels honored to have the “out of this world opportunity” to intern for JPL where he is able to learn aspects of aerospace engineering he does not get to see in the classroom.
Gould also plans to attend graduate school to earn his masters in aerospace engineering after his internship and nine months in Switzerland. With a love for the California coast, the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and Texas charm, Gould was looking to attend graduate school in any of these three states and has decided to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder after his time in Switzerland.
As Gould’s final semester at TCU inevitably flies by, he has much to look forward to. As a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, a small group leader at Doxology church and a Frog Shadow tour guide – not to mention his academics and senior projects – Gould has plenty to keep him busy. Gould is currently focused on his senior design project in engineering. His team’s senior design project is concentrated on oil wells and developing ways to make them more efficient. Gould said, “it has been a really special opportunity to help lead a team of eight people and be able to construct a 20-foot-tall test structure to help us accomplish what we’re doing.”
While Gould has stretched himself far and wide academically and in his extracurricular activities, he still makes it a priority to spend time doing the things he loves such as golf and skiing. Coming from the mountains in Colorado, he was able to grow up doing both and still enjoys the sports today. He credits his grandparents for his affinity for golf, and his experience has even lead him to win more than ten golf tournaments in his career and compete in four playoff holes for his high school state championship.
In the years to follow his graduation, Gould hopes to spend his time as an aerospace engineer, possibly on the West Coast. “Aerospace Engineering is the perfect blend of my passions and my interests, and it provides me with a way to contribute to not just the world, but the universe,” said Gould.