Systems engineer, passion for building
Current job: Systems engineer, Integrity Engineering and Design
What experiences as a youngster made you pursue a career in STEM?
When I was young and when we were out of school, we would spend a lot of time outside. We rode our bikes everywhere. We would always be just taking them apart, tuning them up and putting them back together and swapping out parts.
That’s where I learned a lot about how to use tools and how things worked. It really sparked a lot of my interest.
Ultimately that’s a big part of what engineering is. It’s creating things. I think that as a kid that’s what we were really interested in–just making stuff. Learning the whole mechanics of how things work, being able to take things apart and put them back together and swap out parts. That was kind of the incubator for me. It kind of got me interested in all sorts of things mechanical.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a STEM career?
Whatever your passion, whatever you really like to do, more often than not there’s going to be science and engineering behind it or involved with it. I think if you just open your mind and recognize that, it will draw you into science and engineering.
If you’re interested in sports, there’s science and technology behind that. For example, the physiology of the human body, or how the human body is able to do certain things. Of course that’s science behind it.
Or how a pitcher’s able to manipulate the baseball to curve in or do different things. There’s a lot of physics behind that.
If you enjoy music, how does an instrument manipulate the sound and make vibrations to create music? It’s all science behind it.
So whatever you’re passionate about, whatever you really enjoy doing, if you look at it from a certain perspective you’ll find that there’s science and technology behind it.
I would say it’s important to have goals and when you realize something that you’re passionate about, when you find what you really enjoy doing, follow through with that and take it as far as you can. Sometimes that’s going to mean sacrificing other things and taking risks, but if it’s something you really enjoy doing, the rewards will outweigh risks. It may lead you to a science or engineering career.