Zeal for engineering and philosophy meld in Fulton Schools alum’s work to help guide the nation’s space exploration endeavors

Zachary Pirtle recalls struggling with his choice of a major during his first year of studies in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He was following in his father’s career footsteps by enrolling in the mechanical engineering program, but by his second year was contemplating a change.

Two things prevented him from taking a different direction. He got an internship working in the aerospace division at Honeywell and he began taking courses in the philosophy of science.


The internship showed him “how engineering works in the real world,” Pirtle says. The philosophy classes helped him view engineering from a broader perspective of its value in gaining new knowledge and insights and applying them in ways that best serve society.

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