in a nutshell, my undergrad was in Astrophysics, my master's is in Systems Engineering (SE), and I am currently completing my Ph.D. in SE focusing on deep learning applications towards engineering design systems.

My question is:

Is there a way to combine SE and astrophysics?

Before anyone asks, why didn't I continue in astro? because I am in the military, and there is no distance-learning astrophysics programs at the PhD level.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ No shortage of applications of deep learning in astronomy. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Apr 23, 2023 at 7:48
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Big data + pattern matching = machine learning. This has astronomy written all over it. $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2023 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ A very recent example is the sharpening of the 2017 black hole image using machine learning techniques. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2023 at 10:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So, it is possible for an engineer to be a part of cutting edge cosmology research? $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2023 at 1:38

1 Answer 1


In short, the answer is: yes.

Aside from the fact that machine learning is used in theoretical studies, like in this paper or in this one, your combined expertise would be invaluable in designing and operating astrophysical instrumentation.

NASA should be on top of your list. Good luck with your job search. I am sure you will find something.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I will definitely look into it $\endgroup$ May 14, 2023 at 14:27

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