What is your role at Lockheed Martin?
Principle Investigator of an internal research and development project at Missiles and Fire Control
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
I enjoyed math and art in school. I liked the idea of communicating with math and pictures (diagrams) to solve problems. My father, who is not an engineer but admires the profession, told me that engineering is a very broad field, and there would be opportunity for variety and versatility in one’s work. That appealed to me.
What tips or advice would you offer students considering a career in engineering?
Aside from studying math, science, and gaining computer skills, do reading and research on the Internet or at the library about fields in engineering, and where might their personal interests and talents best fit. If possible, talk to working engineers about their profession and ask if you can shadow them for a day at work or visit their workplace to get insight and see examples of what they actually do. Also talk with college students who are pursuing engineering, and ask them about their projects, how they selected a field of interest, and if you can tour any labs. Visit technology museums or sign up for free tours of corporate manufacturing facilities, university research labs, or similar sites.
One of the challenges facing the engineering field is a lack of awareness for what engineering is, and what engineers do. What steps can the engineering industry take to make our educational and career pursuits more real and relatable to the general public?
Sponsor admission-free days at science and tech museums as well as corporate tours. Continue to take advantage of social media to showcase projects and products. In multi-media communications, juxtapose the old way of doing things versus what we routinely do today with modern technology. Show many examples of how the same basic technology used in unrelated products are also used in every-day items, such as gyroscopes in products as diverse as satellites and Wii controllers.
The theme for National Engineers Week is “Let’s Make a Difference”. Tell us about how you make a difference to inspire young people to consider a career in engineering? How can your peers get involved?
I donated to my alma mater’s engineering alumni fund and do volunteer work, such as judging a science fair. When I get endless questions from younger kids about how does something work, and why, why, why, I try to respond with the real explanation in terms they can understand.