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CIERA Connections: Dan Abramov on careers in aerospace

On May 6th, Northwestern alum and spaceflight systems engineer Dan Abramov provided 27 in-person CIERA members a glimpse into their potential future careers. Abramov’s own career as an astrophysicist and his journey within aerospace served as the focal point of the latest installment of the CIERA Connections series.  

In his lunchtime talk, “Navigating the Cosmos: Lessons Learned for a career in Astrophysics, Planetary Science, and Aerospace Industries,” Abramov drew from his decade of experience across the space industry, sharing advice for seeking out best-fit opportunities at research institutions, commercial companies, and fledgling startups. As a former Wildcat, he shared practical advice with members of CIERA on how to get started in the aerospace industry. His advice highlighted pivotal moments, crises, and triumphs within his work designing and operating spacecrafts.

With an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy from Northwestern (’13) and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Michigan (’16), Abramov currently works as a Propulsion Engineer at Blue Origin designing, building and optimizing spacecraft. Dan has worked on the Orbital Sciences Antares launch system, SpaceX Falcon/Starship launch vehicle programs, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Europa Clipper mission. He served as a Space Telescope Science Institute student intern during the construction of JWST and founded the NUSTARS engineering organization, which continues to provide Northwestern students with hands-on opportunities to compete in university-level NASA challenges. 

The CIERA Connections series is designed to provide junior researchers exposure to career opportunities outside academia through informal seminars. 

Article by Gabriela Hamburger Medailleu