photo of Caroline Bik

Major

Aerospace Engineering

Technical Area

Atmospheric Flight

Hometown

Houston, TX

What made you decide to pursue an aerospace engineering degree? 

Growing up, math and science always intrigued me. Both my parents are engineers and I knew from a young age that I wanted to be one. In middle school, I flip-flopped between civil, materials, and physics. Meanwhile, I was pretty passionate about sailing, something I was busy with nearly every weekend. By the time high school started, I wanted to design yachts for America's cup and one of the ways to get involved in that was to study aerospace engineering. During high school, I participated in the International Baccalaureate program and for my extended essay did a research project on the airfoils and the lift generated by different sails. By that time the following year, I was busy with my first semester of aerospace.

Has involvement in student groups and/or organizations made a difference in your education? if so, how?

While at UT, I have been involved with a few student groups. Freshman year I joined Design, Build, Fly (DBF) and it was one of the best decisions I made. Some of my best friends have come from DBF. It is always an experience working in the lab. Sophomore year, I was part of Projects with Underserved Communities (PUC). I learned about project management and development. It helped me to explore interests I may have outside of aerospace. I really enjoy working with other students to solve challenges and explore the ways in which we can apply our degrees to real life, something that can be difficult to see when you are in the middle of books and lectures.

If you participated in study abroad, please include a brief description about your experience.

TU Delft is absolutely amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone who has an inkling of a feeling that they want to study abroad. I participated in study abroad in Spring 2018. The professors I had are extremely passionate about what they teach and want you to be successful. You will have the opportunity to meet so many other students through the introduction week, courses, on campus activities and housing.

Where is your favorite place to study?

I find it healthy to switch up study places, but some of my favorite places are inside Gregory Gym, the Union (seats along windows on the upper floors), and in random empty classrooms (really great for working things out on a board if you need space).

What are some things you really enjoy about living in Austin, TX?

I have enjoyed living off-campus in Hyde Park and the Mueller area. These neighborhoods are close to campus (easy commute via bus or bike), quiet and safe (relaxing and good for running outdoors), and have grocery stores and other things nearby. I really enjoy Austin as a whole because of how easy it is to access nature and to be outdoors— paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, sailing on Lake Travis, swimming at Barton, playing frisbee golf at Zilker, hiking in the Green Belt, etc. Oh, and there are lots of great places to eat and a pretty chill music scene.