Aerospace Engineer--Vice President of an Aerospace Consulting Firm
Name: Thomas MyersTell us about your work---what do you do? I was formerly trained as an electrical engineer and in applied mechanics . Our company tests vehicle dynamics, handling and brake systems . We consult on all kind of vehicles, including autos , airplanes , jets , etc. What skills are needed? You basically need an engineering background. Electrical , mechanical and aerospace engineering are typical disciplines in our field. What was your major? I received my degree in Aerospace Engineering and my master's in Applied Mechanics. How did you get started in your career? I knew I wanted to do something in science and engineering. Like many others in my field at the time, I was inspired by the Apollo space missions. I followed my interests and felt that aerospace was the most exciting area at the time. What experience do you need in this job? You have to have a strong math and science background and a good natural intellectual curiosity. You have to be able to work well in a team environment and be able to work long hours. Describe your "typical" workday: Well, the first eight hours of my day, since I am in a management position, is usually spent dealing with managerial duties. The second eight hours is where I hop on the computer and do the fun stuff like figuring out differential equations and solving problems. What is the hardest aspect of your job? That would be the management aspect of the job. I really do not enjoy it as well as the more purely scientific part of my position. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Definitely figuring out and solving problems that seem almost impossible to solve when you first start working on them. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Get as much math and science as you can in high school and college. You have to be able to interpret volumes of data and present it in a clear and concise manner. You have to really enjoy math and science.