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  #106   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-04-2012, 07:17 AM
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esquared esquared is offline
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Thumbs up Re: What's your day job?

As many others have stated in this thread, your career is what you make of it. Especially when you first start out as a young engineer, aggressively seek work that interests you, and stretch your capabilities. You'll often find in industry there are all levels of effort/interest by your teammates. Promoting yourself as motivated and capable of learning.adapting to a constantly evolving work situation will quickly set you apart from the field.

Fortunately FIRST has provided many opportunities for you to practice those skills, in front of your mentors as well as judges and VPs during competitions

Advice aside, my day job is an electrical engineer for a "major defense contractor". What does this mean? On any given day, I could be:
  • Writing C/C++ on an IBM AIX platform to do multi-threaded signal processing (parallel FFTs, IQ data manipulation, filtering, Doppler processing, etc).
  • Writing C++ and MATLAB analysis and/or test equipment automation scripts. The fewer times you have click a mouse or push a button on an instrument the better!
  • Writing VHDL for a variety of FPGA platforms, including one very similar to the FPGA inside the cRIO
  • Hardware design, which for me is typically high-speed mixed signal circuit board designs with FPGAs, A/D and D/A converters, and RF signal chains.
  • Mentoring junior engineers or supporting other engineers in specific subject matters such as phase noise, fiber optic interfaces, and RF design.
  • Sitting in meetings or filling out reams of paperwork - well, you can't have fun every day...

Surprisingly I still use about 75% of the math and physics I learned in high school and college. Trig and trig identities get used pretty frequently in signal processing, linear algebra on an almost daily basis. Differential equations to some extent, and calculus at least in terms of series approximations to forumulae.
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  #107   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-04-2012, 10:28 PM
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Alex2614 Alex2614 is offline
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Re: What's your day job?

Secondary Education Major/Geography Major, Class of 2015 and 2016

Although I'm currently a freshman, FIRST has inspired my career goals to become an educator... And a social studies educator nonetheless. I know I'm the oddball here, but that's who I am
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2014 Smoky Mountains Regional - Chairman's Award, Champions, Entrepreneurship Award, Gracious Professionalism Award, Dean's List Finalist Award (Congrats Emily!)
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  #108   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-14-2012, 03:44 PM
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Re: What's your day job?

I am an product (applications) engineer for Kaydon, a manufacturer of custom and thin-section bearings. I get to play a small role in a broad range of interesting projects. I have worked on bearings in Dave Lavery's "other car" (original Mars Rovers), the Hubble Telescope, the International Space Station, Joint Strike Fighter STOVL, various satellites and helicopters, and everyting from medical devices to sewage treatment, renewable energy to nuclear power, industrial machinery, etc. I even get calls from other FRC teams.

I also have a 30 acre hobby farm with a few cattle and horses. I operate it with semi-antique equipment from the 1950's & 1960's, including some classic 2-cylinder John Deere tractors. It seems like the first thing that happens on all my machinery is for a bearing to go out. Tinkering with old farm equipment is a great learning experience. Shoveling manure keeps me humble. The seasonal schedule fits well with robotics.

As a mentor, I'm supposed to bring my work experience to robotics and share it with the students. In reality, I apply my robotics experiences to the benefit of Kaydon a lot more often.
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  #109   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-06-2012, 09:41 PM
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Re: What's your day job?

I am in R&D at Procter & Gamble. After internships in logistics and plant engineering, I found my home in the bridge between bench top production of products (i.e. we figured out a way to make this one awesome widget) and full scale production (i.e. how can we make millions of these widgets?). The important part is that I get to wake up every day and do work that I am excited about.

I think it's important to remember that FIRST in its name stresses inspiration and recognition of science and technology. I see STEM in so many facets of my life now. An example: from working at a consumer products company, literally every time I buy something, in some small way, I think of the fact that someone had to come up with that product and someone (or something) had to make it. I have seen firsthand the level of thought that goes into making our products, much of it in overcoming STEM related hurdles.

STEM related careers, to me, are so exciting because of the limitless possibilities and paths one can take. Even more exciting is that not everyone has to pursue a STEM related career to appreciate the aspects of STEM all around them.
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  #110   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-06-2012, 10:04 PM
BradleyView BradleyView is offline
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Re: What's your day job?

I work as an Applications Engineer for a company that makes various specialty adhesive tapes. It's the right mix for me between playing in the lab, working with manufacturing, and interacting with the customer. Best part is I get to go see people who is using our products to make some pretty cool things.
I have to say, FIRST is one of the primary reasons I got this job. My degree is in civil engineering. I was interviewing for a new training program for a sales position and I didn't really on paper fit what they were looking for. The HR manager wasn't convinced, and his first question for me was Why should I even consider you for this spot? Usually I would have thrown your application away in the first 15 seconds. Well, I explained my various responsibilities as a mentor though FIRST, and he liked it so much that he called me back for the Application Engineering position which they had not even advertised online less than a week later. They ended up offering me both positions, and I firmly believe I would not have had a shot at either without my FIRST experience.
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Last edited by BradleyView : 06-06-2012 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Add details about how FIRST helped me in finding my current career
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  #111   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-06-2012, 10:40 PM
Dan_Karol Dan_Karol is offline
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Re: What's your day job?

I am a Development engineer at DEKA Research, Dean Kamen's Company. Mostly we design and engineer cutting-edge medical devices such as the 'Luke' arm or the iBot but have been known to deviate into other areas.

At DEKA, I put similar skills to the ones being taught in FIRST teams to use every day. Rigorous problem solving skills rooted in math and science allow me to ensure that whatever project I'm working on is reliable and safe. Creative thinking similar to FIRST robot design allows me and the team I work with to innovate so we "are on the cutting-edge of whatever industry we choose to join".

http://www.dekaresearch.com/index.shtml


Before Joining DEKA I worked with ARTAIC INNOVATIVE MOSAIC, a startup company in Boston. They assemble custom tile mosaics from photos their customers send in. To keep costs and response time low they use robots to arrange the tiles instead of out-sourced labor. It was my job to design and build the robotic system from the ground up. My experience with FIRST along with my degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering really helped with this project. Due to my involvement in this project, Artaic has lowered the time it takes to assemble a square foot of custom mosaic mural from 2 hours to about 40 seconds!

http://www.artaic.com/


-Dan Karol
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  #112   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-08-2012, 12:42 PM
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Re: What's your day job?

Right now, I'm working in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab here. My project is called Reflect2O (a play on H2O). We are creating a data visualization tool to put in people's homes to try and encourage them to conserve water.
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  #113   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-08-2012, 01:35 PM
Jessica Boucher Jessica Boucher is offline
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Re: What's your day job?

I'm a Product Manager at Jobscience. We write Recruiting software on the Salesforce cloud. All of our Dev is in NH but we have a San Fran office as well.

I write specs, talk to programmers, QA, and generally bring projects from start to finish. It's nice seeing technology out there that you had a part in building.
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  #114   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-08-2012, 11:32 PM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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Re: What's your day job?

When I'm not working for the state of Virginia Employment Commission (we find people jobs and assist with unemploment claims) I am a professional actress and model.
I get excited when I find people jobs and get them off unemployment for so many reasons.
I love my acting and modeling work as well. Yes, I have been on tv shows, commercials, films (both small and large), and print advertising.
My work isn't related to FIRST in the sense of Science or Technology, however, many forget how important structure, organization, teamwork, and planning factor into robot production. The bottom line is that no matter what you do in life, odds are you perfected your skills thanks to FIRST.
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  #115   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-09-2012, 09:04 AM
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Re: What's your day job?

I'm now officially an author! My first novel, Twice Shy, is being released this September by JournalStone Publishing, and I couldn't be more excited about it!
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  #116   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-11-2012, 11:52 AM
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Re: What's your day job?

I work as an (paid) intern for our sponsor Special Parts & Mfg, who manufactures our sheet metal parts for the robot. Its really cool to see how our stuff is made and also helps with the CAD and design of the robot. I now know cool tricks SPM can do that we can use, and the limitations of their basic (non specialty) machines to get stuff made and delivered faster.
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  #117   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 01-12-2013, 02:12 AM
JDL JDL is offline
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Re: What's your day job?

I design, build, install, program, commission, troubleshoot, service and support electrical and mechanical equipment and installations in water, power, chemical, and industrial and hitech apps.

I go from doing the work of an engineer doing designs and programming PLCs/PACs, SCADA controllers to smelling like grinding dust cause I've been grinding and welding pipe and steel stock together.

Last week I had my hard hat and tool belt on up in a scissor lift running conduit for motors and push buttons stations. This week I did drawings and ordered parts for 3 new machines and control panels for us to build.

Last edited by JDL : 01-12-2013 at 02:14 AM.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 07:44 AM
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Re: What's your day job?

I'm a senior on my team and about to move (permanently) from my hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Austin, TX to attend UT Austin, pursue a Computer Science major (and hopefully a masters), and continue working in the gaming industry. Thanks to a few contacts, I've already had an internship for 3 or 4 years (and they started paying me about a year ago).

It's not exactly engineering or anything, but FRC is still giving me some good programming experience that I'll use in the future
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  #119   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 01-12-2013, 08:37 AM
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Re: What's your day job?

I'm a software developer for Research In Motion. I work on an app called DocsToGo for BlackBerry devices. When I interviewed for this job, I talked to at least 8 different people, every one of whom asked me about FIRST.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 07:28 PM
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Re: What's your day job?

I work in Chrysler Powertrain developing realtime embedded software in C and Simulink. I'm actually a co-op student, so I rotate through a bunch of different 3-month positions twice a year (and go to school for the other 6 months). I'm at work during robotics build season, in the same building as 33's shop, so it's really awesome. This term I'm writing software. Maybe next term I'll be doing something else.

I have 4 major bullets on my resume. 3 of the 4 involved embedded software development in Simulink, the fourth was FIRST and includes LabVIEW.

Developing embedded RT software makes me really hate inefficient code (and Java).
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