Any Aerospace Engineers on the board??

User Forum Topic
Submitted by jficquette on May 23, 2010 - 8:43am

Hi,

I am trying to help the son of a friend get his career going who graduated in 2008 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State.

He toyed with going to Med School and even did some research for a local medical group on diabetes. His results were published.

He will go anywhere, live anyway do anything to get a start. Because of that attribute I suggested the Air Force. He wants to build Rockets, Space vehicles which in my mind would make the AF experience even more pertinent to his goals.

Any of y'all have any ideas or know of any openings for entry level AE grads?

Thanks everyone.

John

Submitted by Waiting to feel... on May 23, 2010 - 9:35am.

I'm not super familiar with this industry. I did work for NASA for a few years in the 80's. A couple of places to try:

- Morton Thiocol (of the Space Shuttle O-Ring fame). They are located outside of Salt Lake City, a few miles from the middle of no where.

- Boeing. In Seattle. They do both commerical and military aviation. In this particular company I'd say do your research. There are a lot of people there who wanted to design airplanes who are actually responsible for very minute, specialized, parts of the aircraft and never do anything else. The engineers are also union.

- Aerojet. In Sacramento, CA. They're really a chemical company, but they designed the rocket fuels for many missiles.

- Lockheed. Don't know where they're located, particularly the division that does aircraft. I think they're the lead company on the Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing is assisting. There was a great Nova (the PBS program) on the competition between Boeing and Lockheed for the design of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Defense jobs can be very cyclical depending on the contracts, gov't spending, etc. OTHO, they probably won't be outsourcing them to China anytime soon. In general, it's really a bad time to be an engineer.

Hope that helps.

Submitted by garysears on May 23, 2010 - 9:42am.

Check out NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) at http://jobs.navair.navy.mil/. Good luck.

Submitted by jficquette on May 23, 2010 - 9:47am.

Thanks guys.

John

Submitted by garysears on May 23, 2010 - 9:51am.

Based on his background and interest, maybe he could also consider Aerospace Medicine if he wants to pursue a little more education.

http://www.asma.org/aboutasma/careers.php

Submitted by jficquette on May 23, 2010 - 10:24am.

garysears wrote:
Based on his background and interest, maybe he could also consider Aerospace Medicine if he wants to pursue a little more education.

http://www.asma.org/aboutasma/careers.php

Great Idea.

Thanks,

John

PS If anyone has a contact he could call let me know!

Submitted by jficquette on May 23, 2010 - 11:03am.

Waiting to feel the magic wrote:
I'm not super familiar with this industry. I did work for NASA for a few years in the 80's. A couple of places to try:

- Morton Thiocol (of the Space Shuttle O-Ring fame). They are located outside of Salt Lake City, a few miles from the middle of no where.

- Boeing. In Seattle. They do both commerical and military aviation. In this particular company I'd say do your research. There are a lot of people there who wanted to design airplanes who are actually responsible for very minute, specialized, parts of the aircraft and never do anything else. The engineers are also union.

- Aerojet. In Sacramento, CA. They're really a chemical company, but they designed the rocket fuels for many missiles.

- Lockheed. Don't know where they're located, particularly the division that does aircraft. I think they're the lead company on the Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing is assisting. There was a great Nova (the PBS program) on the competition between Boeing and Lockheed for the design of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Defense jobs can be very cyclical depending on the contracts, gov't spending, etc. OTHO, they probably won't be outsourcing them to China anytime soon. In general, it's really a bad time to be an engineer.

Hope that helps.

It does help. As a matter of fact the cyclical nature of the industry and the rapid advances it is seeing is another reason I suggested the Air Force.

I was thinking he could go into the Air Force or Navy, spend 10 years, make contacts and then move into industry if he wanted.

Thanks,

John

Submitted by ucodegen on May 23, 2010 - 12:21pm.

Another possibility is JPL located just north of Pasadena. It might be hard to get into though.

Submitted by jimmyle on May 23, 2010 - 6:34pm.

At JPL you don't do much with a BS. You need a Master or PhD degree. In addition, these guys are very selective and a little bit arrogant, they probably don't consider candidates from Cal State Colleges. Most people who work there are from Cal Tech, MIT, Berkeley, and Stanford.

ucodegen wrote:
Another possibility is JPL located just north of Pasadena. It might be hard to get into though.

Submitted by paramount on May 23, 2010 - 7:52pm.

jimmyle wrote:
At JPL you don't do much with a BS. You need a Master or PhD degree. In addition, these guys are very selective and a little bit arrogant, they probably don't consider candidates from Cal State Colleges. Most people who work there are from Cal Tech, MIT, Berkeley, and Stanford.

ucodegen wrote:
Another possibility is JPL located just north of Pasadena. It might be hard to get into though.

In my experience I would say these Cal Tech 'people' can be VERY arrogant. In fact, the North Pasadena area I think in general is loaded with snobs.

Sorry, got off the subject. The very large aerospace company I work for has been laying off in great numbers - right in RB. In fact, a big RIF will be occurring this week.

Submitted by fcepstein on May 24, 2010 - 12:24pm.

I am an aerospace engineer, on the Communications Engineering side.

I recommend staying looking at Space Daily (http://www.spacedaily.com/) for latest information and industry trends. They have an automated daily email feed that you can sign up for. Lockheed in San Jose is a major player in satellites, as is Northrop Grumman in Manhattan Beach. Raytheon and Lockheed do a lot of Missile Defense. General Dynamics in Phoenix and Viasat in Carlsbad also comes to mind.

Also concur with the industry being cyclic, and it is now trending downward. The DoD is trending away from "esoteric" solutions, and moving more toward providing information to the troops at the ground level. As a result, there seems to be a pinch at the Satellite and Missile Defense sectors.

-Frank

Submitted by sdcellar on May 24, 2010 - 12:30pm.

The only person I know of is Joe Dubois.

Submitted by jficquette on May 24, 2010 - 7:44pm.

Thanks everyone.

John

Submitted by dbapig on May 25, 2010 - 9:57am.

I don't have direct contact with Armed Forces or aerospace industry but I did hear having a proper US govt security clearance really helps with getting a job in aerospace. The problem is getting it costs a lot of $$$. That's where USAF or USN comes in.

Since he already has BA, he might try getting into United States Air Force Officer Training School or similar program for Navy, try to get into a position that requires security clearance (not that he has much control over it...), and once he's done serving, he can try to get a job at one of the defense contractors.

I was told if you have a security clearance, they are almost willing to train you on the job, because it's hard/expensive to hire people with proper security clearance.

Submitted by dbapig on May 25, 2010 - 10:00am.

paramount wrote:
jimmyle wrote:
At JPL you don't do much with a BS. You need a Master or PhD degree. In addition, these guys are very selective and a little bit arrogant, they probably don't consider candidates from Cal State Colleges. Most people who work there are from Cal Tech, MIT, Berkeley, and Stanford.

ucodegen wrote:
Another possibility is JPL located just north of Pasadena. It might be hard to get into though.

In my experience I would say these Cal Tech 'people' can be VERY arrogant. In fact, the North Pasadena area I think in general is loaded with snobs.

Sorry, got off the subject. The very large aerospace company I work for has been laying off in great numbers - right in RB. In fact, a big RIF will be occurring this week.

Very snobby I'm sure but very valuable to US apparently. I don't see it any more but when I used to drive by Pasadena I could see a sign for a some kind of military transport unit in Pasadena. Kinda of really odd location for an active military unit. Than I realized in case something big happens, the US govt probably would want to rescue/relocate the brain trust at Pasadena to somewhere safe...

Submitted by patb on May 26, 2010 - 12:21pm.

I work in the field, particularly in boost and propulsion.

If he wants to work in rockets, (A move I don't recommend), he should get skills in Aero, CFD, Thermal, Materials or Fluids. then he needs to decide if he wants to concentrate on structures, thermal, propulsion or controls or systems engineering.

Finally for jobs, there is Orbital in HB, SMC at LAAFB, or he can join one of the new space companies.
(Like SpaceX in Hawthorne)

Or he needs to move to Decatur alabama (ULA).

now if he wants to do propulsion he could go to AFRL in Mojave,

it's a small industry.

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