Computer Science/Systems major
Systems Engineer at Rockwell Collins, Inc. since 2004
It’s hard to believe that over three years have passed since I graduated. I often think back to the classes I had and realize how much they have helped set the stage for the work I do now. I currently am the lead engineer for a military avionics program, and I don’t know if the Lord could have placed me anywhere more enjoyable. In fact, having the title Systems Engineer, I’m rather proud that I haven’t written a single line of code since I graduated! I suppose I’ve been focusing on the ‘Systems’ side of the Computer Science/Systems degree!
The business area of Rockwell Collins (no longer a part of Big Rockwell) performs integration and software development for U.S. Army helicopter cockpits. Basically we put the smarts in the aircraft. The end product is known as CAAS, or Common Avionics Architecture System. In particular, I’m a Platform Systems Project Engineer—which roughly means that I’m responsible for the high-level design and integration testing of the system. I have a team of about eight persons to help me do this. The overall team (which includes implementation/software engineering) is of course much larger. This is your standard systems design role—my team is the primary interface to the customer and is responsible for requirements capture and definition, flow-down of those requirements to the sub-system teams and software engineers, managing the integration, and then ensuring that the end product coming back is what we had intended.
The job itself is rather fun. I’ve had some travel, and I enjoy working with the military. I’ve even had opportunities to fly aboard MH-47s (Chinooks) and MH-60s (Blackhawks) with the 160th SOAR—the group in the movie Blackhawk Down.
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