Meet: Roger Arno
NASA Ames Research Center
Who I Am and What I Do
Space and aircraft mission analysis, engineering
design and cost analyses, design tradeoffs, program planning, project
management, technical paper preparation, proposal preparation, graphics
generation, 3D animation.
Knowledge of engineering mechanics, physics, chemistry,
costing, statistics, life sciences, management. Knowledge of
engineering and management tools (computers, internet, word processing,
Excel, Powerpoint, Word, Photoshop, etc.).
How I first became interested in this profession
I had an early interest in space, aircraft, technology,
cars, movies, and movie making.
What helped prepare me for this job
An engineering education with an eagerness to learn on
the job (as with programming, systems engineering, project management,
teamwork, procurement and contracting, materials, government regulations
and specifications, word processing, computer analysis tools, computer
graphics and animation, and manufacturing processes).
My father, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Wright Brothers, Werner Von Braun,
Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick (2001), Bertrand Russell, M.C. Escher,
a select few Sci-Fi writers, the people at Dreamworks, Pixar, and ILM,
Renoir, Monet, Dali, Hildebrandt Brothers, Chesley Bonestell Steve Jobs
and Steve Wozniac, some great co-workers, excellent physics and chemistry
teachers at Glendale City College.
My education and training
- Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering
Degree in Engineering Mechanics from Santa Clara University,
courses in engineering, economics, etc., and on-the-job training.
Summer jobs at Lockheed (thanks to the fact that my dad worked there),
engineering degree, drafting board at FMC, NASA, NASA retired, NASA
What I like about my job
Working with new mission concepts and learning about
space and space technology
What I don't like about my job
The interminable amount of time (2-10 years, or more)
it takes to go from a mission concept to flight. Changing priorities,
changing budgets, and the huge number of documents it takes to build
a spacecraft. Working
for years on a mission only to have it cancelled.
My advice to anyone interested in this occupation
There is still a lot of interesting work to do, and many exciting
missions to be flown. However, be realistic about the mundane work
don’t expect to save the world.