Aeronautical Engineering/Interview

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Question
Paul,
I have a school project for Principles of Engineering, an engineering class I am taking.  I am interested in being an aerospace engineer and I have some questions.  
1.   Why did you choose this line of work?
2.   Did you plan on this being your career? Why or why not?
3.   Were there any clues as a child that this would be where you ended up?
4.   What is the best part of your job?
5.   What is one of the downsides to this job?
6.   What kind of education do you believe is necessary for becoming an aerospace engineer?
7.   When did you decide this would be your career?
8.   If you donít mind answering, what is your average gross per year?
9.   How much time do you put into your job?
10.   What do you enjoy about your job?
11.   How long have you been working?
12.   What college would you recommend to go to if you wished to have a job like this?
13.   How many people do you work with?
14.   Do you receive credit for your work?
15.   Where would you go to work as an aerospace engineer?
16.   What type of person do you believe would excel at this job?
17.   If you could choose to do another job, what job would you want?
18.   If not this job, what other job appeals to you?
19.   What does an aerospace engineer need to be?
20.   What qualities do you look for in an aerospace engineer?  
Sorry it is so long, he gave us a list of questions to ask.

Answer
Well Alec, that is quite a list. Since I am now retired, I will answer as if I were still on the job.
1. I love solving engineering problems, and aerodynamic problems seemed the most interesting.
2. I chose engineering when I was in high school and became inspired by my physics teacher.
3. No, though my dad would often talk above the marvels of Roman aqueducts for some reason, which may have influenced my choices.
4. Solving technical problems and finding new understandings of the way things work.
5. Bureaucracy
6. A degree from an accredited engineering school
7. see 2
8. My final salary was around $110,000 per year, but that was 10 years ago.
9. 40 - 45 hours per week
10. see 4
11. 38 years with NASA, two summers with Boeing, several years consulting part time
12. see 6
13. Around 30 in my organization
14. Yes
15. With an aerospace company, a government research lab, or a small company dealing with fluid mechanics or related technologies such as wind turbine development
16. Any bright, inquisitive, well educated engineer able to work well with people and science
17. See 15
18. Maybe mechanical design in robotics or medical devices or energy systems
19. See 16
20. See 16  

Aeronautical Engineering

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Paul Soderman

Expertise

Aeronautics, Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Aeroacoustics, Noise Control, Muffler Design, Wind Tunnel Research.... I know nothing about India - do not ask about schools, jobs, application requirements, career choices, etc. for India. Please, no text message verbiage; I prefer full words in full sentences. Thanks.

Experience

38 years as research engineer at NASA

Publications
AIAA, NASA

Education/Credentials
B.S. and M.S. Aeronautical Engineering - U. of Washington, Graduate work Standford U.

Awards and Honors
AIAA Associate Fellow (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics)

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