#ElliottProud: Tyler Way

#ElliottProud: Tyler Way

Tyler Way, M.A. International Science and Technology Policy, 2021, #ElliottProud

Tyler Way is a Space and Technology Analyst at Bryce Tech, in this position he supports the commercial consulting team with research and analysis on projects relating to commercial launch, on-orbit servicing assembly and manufacturing, debris mitigation and removal, and international space policy. Previously Tyler interned at the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Aerospace Security Project, and the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Throughout these internships he has been published a wide range of analysis and commentary on topics like space debris and emerging space nations. In addition to his Master of Arts in International Science and Technology Policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs, Tyler holds a Baccalaureate degree in International Studies from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

When did you realize you wanted an international career?

I realized I wanted an international career in the summer of 2013. I was selected to participate in the Ohio Ambassadors of Music, which is a program for high school musicians from Ohio high schools to travel to seven European countries to perform music for local audiences. In addition to performing, there were amazing opportunities to engage with local cultures through food and conversation. As a child who lived his entire life in Northwest Ohio, this experience opened my eyes to the wonderful things one can discover by engaging with people who are different from themselves. I followed this new passion to an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Chinese language and culture including an opportunity to study abroad in Chengdu, China. Later my passion for international cooperation paired with a newfound interest in space policy led me to where I am today. In my opinion, space is the ultimate purely international domain that requires cooperation and collaboration. 

Describe your current position and what are your favorite aspects of the job?

I am currently a Space and Technology Analyst for Bryce Tech. In this position I conduct research and analysis for various commercial and government clients in the fields of civil and commercial launch, space traffic management, international space policy, and on-orbit servicing assembly and manufacturing (OSAM). I love being able to work with highly motivated and experienced space professionals to solve the toughest problems facing the space industry and the government. However, what I enjoy the most about this position are the opportunities I have to reach out and try new things. I have my expertise, but if I want to explore a new topic, I have the ability to work on projects that will expand my knowledge beyond what I specialize in. The commercial space landscape is changing every day. I am excited to be able to see these changes happen, have some impact on the future of space, and to ensure the future of space for generations to come.

What are the current trends driving the future of space policy and what advice would you provide an Elliott School graduate student that is interested in your field of work?

Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, space was the playground for the most powerful governments on the planet, the United States and the former Soviet Union. Since then, there have been massive achievements in space exploration and utilization from sending probes to the furthest reaches of our solar system to landing humans on the Moon. However, today, the world is trending toward an increasingly democratic space environment, where you do not have to be the richest or most powerful country to gain the benefits of a space program or launch probes to celestial bodies. Commercial innovation in space, while sometimes justly criticized, has provided new opportunities for countries and companies to conduct space operations. It is important for students interested in this field to shed their preconceived notions about what it means to be a space power and embrace the idea that any country on Earth has a right to and the capacity for space exploration and utilization.

How does your current position compare to what you thought you would be doing when you first started your degree at the Elliott School?

When I started at the Elliott School, I did not have any set goals in terms of the exact career I wanted to have. I knew I wanted to work in space policy, and I knew I wanted there to be some international connection. Fortunately, space policy is a very niche area of interest and a general understanding of the ins and outs of it are often applicable to many different types of jobs with the right internship or volunteer experience to back up an application. I came from a background of academic writing and research and thought I may want to continue this after graduation. This is the reason I accepted internships with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for Space Policy and Strategy. As I was applying for jobs post-graduation, I knew I wanted to utilize the research skills I’d acquired, but I was also interested in expanding my horizons. After a few months of searching, I found the perfect balance between comfort and new experience at Bryce Tech.

What do you most value about your experience at the Elliott School?

I most value the opportunity I had to learn from practitioners in my field. I always knew that I could learn new things about the industry through working and learning on my own, but the knowledge I gained through interacting with active practitioners inside and outside the classroom prepared me for the challenges and experiences I face daily in my professional life. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I managed to develop strong relationships with the other students in my program. These relationships, formed through virtual study sessions and happy hours, turned into great in-person friendships that I believe will be the basis for amazing professional and personal relationships that continue to develop as we work together to solve the toughest issues in space policy.

What TV show or movie have you most enjoyed in the last year?

My friends and I have watched and rewatched New Girl probably five times in the last couple years. The light-hearted comedy and great development of personal relationships was a big part of maintaining our sanity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has gotten to the point where we can reference almost any quote from any episode in casual conversation, this has driven our other friends crazy, but it makes us laugh and helps us shed the stresses that we have all experienced these last few years. As far as movies go, I am a huge Marvel Cinematic Universe fan so I would have to say the movie I’ve watched the most has been Avengers Endgame.

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The #ElliottProud profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights graduate program alumni to answer common questions posed by prospective, incoming, and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs