November 28, 2012
As is widely known, the United States has the strongest defense program in the world. Our military, Air Force, Navy and space program are unparalleled and our long-standing commitment to scientific and technological innovation in these areas has led to American leadership and success around the world. Crucial to this leading edge are the scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technology specialists (otherwise known as STEM) who work every day to make sure our national security interests are never threatened.
Yet in about five years, this country is projected to face a 230,000-worker shortage in exactly these areas and that number is only set to increase. That is why it is imperative that we begin immigration reform now and expand the visa program for foreign-born STEM students looking to work in this country after graduation.
As a PhD candidate at Ohio State University originally from India, I am one of those students. I came here in 2006 to study aerospace engineering and I have been working on the design of the next generation of aircraft control systems ever since. For the past six years, I’ve been working on projects for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and NASA and in fact, those projects have supported my education here in the States. Every day I work towards making these organizations better, stronger and more innovative.