A future career in the stars

Senior’s summer internship turns into a possible job pursuit


Working tirelessly for months on various projects, ranging from a startup to helping astrophysicists run tests, senior Christian Kohnle strives to work as hard as he can.

Kohnle works with computational astrophysicist Dr. Chris Fragile as an assistant on his research. Kohnle has been working with Fragile for the past year and change, helping in every way he can.

“What [Fragile] does is look at computer simulations of astrophysical phenomena. So mainly black holes and neutron stars. What I specifically did over the summer, was program simulations of or ran simulations of black holes,” Kohnle said.

Kohnle is planning on moving out to California to attend Berkley and further his career as a physicist. He plans on working with Peter Anninos at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“I’m trying to move to California next year for college [at] Berkeley. So I am trying to work with him in California next summer on a similar project,” said Kohnle.

Kohnle is also part of a team called Strobe-X, a team that plans on making the future of satellites. While he isn’t the one making the satellites, he is joining the meetings and helping by observing the process.

“NASA exists and tries to build satellites. They plan that very well in advance. So the next generation of satellites is planned like 10 to 15 years in advance. So this group is proposing and planning the next generation of what’s called inner for metric satellites,” Kohnle said.

Kohnle doesn’t just want to work in astrophysics, he plans on majoring in the broad umbrella of physics, in the hopes to find a specific field he truly loves.

“I’m gonna do physics in general. I really like astrophysics. I think it’s super interesting. But I also kind of want to branch out and see what other physics type things I can do in STEM as well,” Kohle said.

Kohnle isn’t only working on a career in physics though, he’s also working on a startup of called Vector.

“Think of Facebook marketplace but for services. Say I need my car buffed… and I don’t want to spend $150 on the tools to do that. But I still need it done. So I go on this app… and try to see if anybody in my area wants to do that,” Kohnle said.

Kohnle plans on going as far as possible in the field of physics, while balancing working on his personal projects.

“If you’re going to college for STEM, especially as a research field, try to do research. The smaller school is typically and the more research oriented they are, the more opportunities they’re going to have for undergrads,” Kohnle said. “If you’re planning on going to school for a STEM degree, and thinking about grad school, definitely see if you get those internship opportunities. Because they’re out there, you just have to ask about them.”