Overview of your current role and when you started at Cobham
I started at Cobham in December 2014. I am a Senior Systems Engineer, and more specifically Lead Engineer for various programs at the Long Island (New York) facility. I’m responsible for overall technical coordination of the programs, making sure that all product requirements are satisfied, and interfacing with the customers for various technical reviews and status updates.
Why did you choose this career path?
I always had an inquisitive mind and tried to figure out how things worked. Since school always came very easy to me, when it was time to select a college and a major, I was looking for a challenge. Several family members worked as engineers so I had some familiarity with the field, the different areas they worked in, and therefore it seemed like a career I would enjoy.
After college I worked in particle physics research as a diagnostics engineer before transitioning to aerospace. While particle physics may seem a world away from the aerospace industry, they have many commonalities, such as radiation and vacuum concerns.
Looking back, what are the highlights in your career so far?
A major highlight for me occurred early in 2018 when two of the satellites containing components I worked on were finally launched into orbit. I very excitedly watched the webcast of both launches. Many people at Hauppauge, New York and people from other Cobham sites put in very long hours to get these components built and tested, and it was very gratifying to hear from the customer how well they were performing once they were operational.
What are the major challenges of your job today?
One of the major challenges is dealing with the ups and downs of the aerospace industry and economy. From my perspective, the anticipation during the proposal and bid process can seem very long and once a contract is awarded everything moves at warp speed. Another challenge is making the test process as efficient and reliable as possible to avoid costly delays for problems unrelated to the deliverable hardware.
What’s next for your career?
The next year is shaping up to be very busy and I have my hands on a few major programs. We will be delivering a full complement of actuators for the Mars 2020 rover, designing and building new actuators and electronics for customers in Japan, and working on a follow-on order from a domestic customer.
Why should people consider a career at Cobham?
I think people should consider a career at Cobham because there is a position available to satisfy everyone’s interest, from terrestrial to space products and applications. At Hauppauge we work on cutting-edge designs and technology for space, so it’s an engineer’s dream.