In honor of Engineers Week, Aerospace is spotlighting a few of our many great engineers and getting a peek at the exciting projects that they’re focused on. Keep checking back to Meet Our People all this week!
Alma Mater: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Austin; Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Department: Structures Department/Vehicle Systems Division
Can you tell us about the work you do here at The Aerospace Corporation?
I work in the Structures Department where I ensure satellite structures will be designed and tested appropriately to survive launch and perform correctly once it reaches space. This partially involves finite element modeling, fracture analysis, and understanding of manufacturing processes. I am also evaluating the accuracy of modeling additive manufactured parts.
Who or what inspires you? Why?
I am inspired by exploration of space and solving the challenges of spaceflight. I read a lot of science fiction, and I like to think that the work we do at Aerospace is a small step in achieving more exciting goals in the future like traveling to other planets and stars.
When was the moment you realized that you wanted to make this your career?
My family moved to Houston when I started high school and in exploring our new city, we visited NASA Johnson Space Center. There is a visitor center open to the public next door that has a tour that brings visitors to see the building with the mock ups of the space station and the shuttle used to train astronauts, as well as a tour to see Mission Control. I fell in love, and knew that I wanted to be part of the space industry.
What work outside of your own department is Aerospace doing that excites you the most?
I am really interested in the CubeSat projects. It is exciting to see what can be accomplished in such small packages with little funding and time.
Why did you choose to work at Aerospace?
During grad school, I decided that I wanted to work at an FFRDC or national lab because I liked the atmosphere of being halfway between academia and industry. I was impressed by the culture where smart people were thinking about the hard problems of sending satellites into space.
What advice would you give to an engineer joining The Aerospace Corporation?
Never stop asking questions, whether it is to your coworkers or the contractors. Aerospace hires a lot of smart people, and there is a lot of knowledge that can be unlocked by asking your colleagues and engaging them in technical discussions.
If you're interested in joining the Aerospace team, be sure to visit our careers page.