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Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Success Stories

About me:
Ben Lewis
B.S. in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (2014)
United States Air Force (USAF), WPAFB, OH

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as an Aerospace Engineer:
Currently, I am a Scientist and Engineer Palace Acquire (PAQ) Civilian Servant. I am in year two of the program and am pursuing my Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL. The PAQ program is designed to create the next leaders of the USAF.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
In order to be successful, you must have a relentless work ethic. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being able to handle adversity, prioritize multiple responsibilities, and staying motivated when exhausted.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering?
If you want this degree, you need to have a winner's attitude and be able to bring it every day.  Sit in the front row. It seems simple but you will be able to hear and see the professor better, you will NOT be tempted to fall asleep, and this way you will absorb more of the material. Make friends in the front row. You cannot do this alone, and the best way to ensure your individual success is to align with the best and brightest in your class - usually the folks at the head of the class are sitting in the front of the classroom. Make them your allies, and of course be a great friend and ally to them as well. By senior year, there were about 10 of us who had each other’s back no matter what. We had been battle tested together, encouraged each other through difficult times, and in some cases made a friend for life.


About me:
Michael Snyder
B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (2009)
M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (2011)
Made In Space, Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Co-Founder and Chief Engineer:
Made In Space is focused on developing manufacturing capabilities for use in space while spinning off the utilized technologies for Earth-based applications. As Chief Engineer, I currently oversee the day-to-day engineering operations and lead the research and development efforts. I also have the opportunity to operate both manufacturing devices that are on the International Space Station.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
In order to be successful in my role, it has been important for me to have the desire to learn new things every day, exercise critical thinking, and approach challenges and new opportunities with creativity. It is also extremely vital to my success to dedicate much of my time for our company's endeavors while practicing standard engineering design and system processes.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering?
If I could give students advice, I would tell them to maintain focus on their goals and prioritize their lives to make their dreams a reality. I would also tell them to be inquisitive in order to learn everything they can from those that have different experiences and knowledge than they currently do.


About me:
Paige Botos
B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2014)
Boeing, Seal Beach, CA

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Maintenance Programs Engineer:
I provide customer support and work to improve maintenance procedures/costs relative to the 777/777X model series systems. My responsibilities also include coordination with regulatory agencies (FAA and EASA) to verify necessary requirements. I am also involved in Boeing held seminars relative to maintenance reliability and production planning.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
The skills and abilities that are required for being successful include understanding of engineering mechanics, ability to provide strong engineering judgement, and aircraft fundamentals. Public speaking and communication skills are essential as majority of the work is interfacing with the customers (airlines) and regulatory agencies.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering?
The advice I would give to students considering majoring in Aerospace Engineering is to go for it. The aerospace field is an amazing opportunity to work with highly intellectual folks, phenomenal projects, and it provides the ability to be constantly learning. While in school, focus on the fundamentals and the process of reaching the solution, rather than the solution itself.

 


About me:
Steven Scherer
B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (2015) Honors in Engineering and Honors Research Distinction
The Boeing Company, Puget Sound, WA

Describe your overall duties/responsibilities as a Rotational Engineer (Aerospace):
I am currently in Boeing’s Engineering Career Foundation Program, a fast-paced, two-year rotation program created to "develop Boeing’s future engineering leaders". I’ve had experiences in Boeing Commercial Airplanes Stability & Control - Product Development and Flight Controls Integration for 777X. Currently, I am engaged in Flight Test Engineering Analysis and supporting Stability & Control flight testing for 737 MAX, KC-46A Tanker, and other Boeing programs. While actively engaged in rotations throughout the company, I also focus on helping lead, improve, and expand the Engineering Career Foundation Program.

Explain the skills/abilities that are required for being successful in your role:
Flexibility, a strong desire for learning, an eagerness to take on constructive criticism, curiosity, a strong passion for quality engineering, and exceptional technical skills are all important in executing short-term rotation assignments. 

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering?
Obtain a pilot certificate or at least take a discovery flight. If flying some sort of aircraft really does not make you excited, ask yourself why.