Engineer Your Way to Success
When I was a kid, I thought engineers were people who designed cars and operated trains. As I got a little older, I began to understand that engineers come up with solutions to problems in an array of different fields.
I appreciate the opportunity to recognize our team during National Engineers Week and its companion event, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. We couldn’t be successful without the engineers we have in every service unit of the ATO, including systems engineers, electrical engineers, database engineers, software engineers, requirements engineers, network engineers and general engineers, to name a few. An engineering education is valuable because analytical and technical skills can be applied to so many circumstances.
I want to highlight some of the ways that four of our engineers are making a difference. Though they started out on very different paths, they all ended up doing important work in one of our directorates, Air Traffic Control Facilities and Engineering Services, AJW-2.
Sharon Perkins, who has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in environmental engineering, is the Engineering Services Manager of the Eastern Service Area in Atlanta.
“Working in Engineering Services is great because the work we do (sustaining and modernizing the NAS) is important for the flying public at large, allowing people to connect with friends and family and for the success and health of businesses,” says Sharon, who joined the FAA in 1995 after serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy’s Civil Engineer Corp.
Kathleen Edic, a civil engineer who came to the FAA in 1991 from a private engineering consulting firm, is the manager of the Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health (EOSH) group. Kathleen says there are a lot of opportunities for women who are engineers and leaders in the FAA.
“Look for those opportunities and demonstrate your leadership capabilities,” she recommends.
Martha Christie, an industrial and systems engineer who also has a master’s degree in engineering management, joined us as a contractor soon after college in 1995 and then joined us as a federal employee in 2002. For her, engineering is a family affair – her father was an engineer, and so is her twin sister.
“Engineers tend to focus on learning what has worked well and what hasn’t and think in terms of problem statements and solutions,” says Martha, who currently leads the development of AJW-2’s strategic plan as manager of the Strategic Management Group.
Vered Lovett, an electronics engineer who started in the Alaska Region in 1990 after working in private industry, is the Engineering Services Manager of the Western Service Area (WSA) in Seattle.
“When you think about what we do in Engineering Services,” Vered says, “we have direct impact on everyone who flies. We design, build and install systems, equipment and facilities that enable the general public’s flying experience. It is just an awesome and fulfilling responsibility.”
It’s great to see the enthusiasm these engineers have for their jobs. I hope you will take the time to recognize how many ways an engineer contributes to our ATO mission, whether it’s the way these women have chosen to, by designing a new control tower, sustaining systems and equipment, performing second-level engineering or countless other ways.