Avionics Software Engineer
The Spaceship Company
Why did you decide to pursue an aerospace engineering degree?
Aerospace has always appealed to me and well, my engineering advisor told me it was really hard.
Please include a brief paragraph describing your current position.
I develop safety critical software for spaceships.
What do you like most about your job? What do you find most challenging?
My role allows me to use my aerospace background while working intimately with hardware.
What are your career goals?
I don't really have career goals like a normal engineer. As long as my job is exciting and I'm constantly learning, I'm happy.
Which of the following student projects/organizations were you involved with in ASE/EM?
AIAA and DBF
How did your experience in these group/s help prepare you for your career?
Actually, a lot of my experience in DBF translates to my current job. Working with Dr. Chaput has been extremely valuable to my career.
Were you involved in any fellowships or internships? If so, please explain and discuss the benefits.
I interned at the Driveway Austin racetrack, which isn't a place that most people would view as a place to seek engineering experience, but I gained an incredible amount of practical intelligence and respect that I couldn't have received anywhere else.
Do you recommend any particular focus for students other than academics to improve themselves as potential candidates for jobs?
Practical intelligence isn't something you're born with and it's very valuable. I recommend working on it as often as possible.
Are there courses at UT you wish you had taken? If so, which ones and why?
More software. More flight controls. The future in aerospace depends heavily on both of these.
Why did you choose one track over the other (atmospheric/space)?
I chose atmospheric because airplanes were better understood to me at the time. I don't regret this path, but I wish I could have learned both.
Who was your most influential ASE or EM professor and why?
Dr. Chaput is someone I would define as a "real engineer." He's practical and understands the value of requirement definition and leadership. These qualities are rare in the real world.
What has been your most influential ASE or EM course and why?
Control Systems. It was only during this course that I found my niche.
What is one piece of advice you have for current students?
Problem solving includes beating your head against a wall 90% of the time. And that's if you're good at problem solving.
Do you have a favorite memory as a UT aerospace student?
Honestly, all of it was pretty awesome, and kind of a blur.
List three things that most people don't know about you.
- I don't pick favorites.
- I enjoy being thrown to the wolves.
- I like working weekends (don't tell my boss).