I am retired from Pratt & Whitney, after nearly 40 years as an engineer, program manager, and finally as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Pratt & Whitney
Why did you decide to pursue an aerospace engineering degree?
I was motivated by the Russian space program success (beating the U.S. to space) and by the students I came to know who were in the program before I changed my major from history to engineering.
Which of the following student projects/organizations were you involved in with ASE/EM?
Do you recommend any particular focus for students other than academics to improve themselves as potential candidates for jobs? If so, explain.
Join an organization, participate and help the community in any way possible. Personal "breadth" will differentiate you in the professional marketplace.
Are there courses at UT you wish you had take? If so, which ones and why?
A good introduction to business would have been a smart elective. Just learning the language of business makes a career easier to navigate.
What are your career goals?
To share my lessons learned with this generation and to give back a little to the school that gave me so much.
Who was your most influential ASE or EM professor and why?
Percy Miller taught aircraft performance and somehow he stirred an interest in me for determining how far an aircraft could fly. That interest never died to this day. I think it was his own passion that rubbed off on me.
What has been your most influential ASE or EM course and why?
It was ASE 360. Performance.
What is one piece of advice you have for our students?
Be flexible and broad in your approach. You don't really know who you are yet, and you don't know what opportunities/challenges await as you enter the workplace.
Are you still working in the aerospace engineering field? If not, why?
I am retired, but I have a lot of clients that I consult for. These clients are former employers, customers, friends, and regulatory agencies.
Do you have a favorite memory as a UT aerospace student?
There are so many. I was from a small town in New York (East Hampton), from a graduating high school class of 52, so going so far away to such a big school was frightening and thrilling. Watching the Tower turn orange, learning to hunt for arrowheads in the country, going to the Student Union on Thursday nights to the "folk sing,” where I met Janis Joplin, and my future (and current) wife who happened to be a close friend of Janis. Also, putting my "Westkaemper" project in the wind tunnel, making an "A" in Dr. Yuan's ASE 460 class, beating A&M, and "sitting in" in a restaurant on the Drag in protest in 1960. Sorry for the ramble, but there are so many wonderful memories that I'm sure if you asked again, I'd give a different list.