Employee Feature: Electrical System Engineer
Date published: July 7, 2022
What do Disney World, patriotism, and video games all have in common? They all in some way influenced Marcus G.’s career path that landed him at Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC).
“I found out about AEDC at my university Career Fair,” Marcus said. “I liked what I heard from the start and wanted to find out everything I could. I am very patriotic and have always wanted to give back to my country and contribute to our nation’s defense. I grew up near Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base in Birmingham seeing all kinds of airplanes fly in. I wanted to be a part of that.”
Marcus is an Electrical System Engineer also running Plant Operations in the von Kármán Gas Dynamics Facility at Arnold Air Force Base. Marcus has been with National Aerospace Solutions, LLC since June 2019. He has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Alabama A&M University.
“Here at AEDC I get to learn from so many people who want to help me be successful,” Marcus said. “We have so many brilliant minds on our team, engineers and craft, and I get to talk to them and learn what they know and how they address problems. Everyone has been so helpful and willing to offer suggestions or talk through situations with me. What better environment to learn?!”
Marcus has worked closely with his mentor Larry B.
“I call Larry my mentor, but he has really been more than a mentor; he’s more like a father figure. In other places I worked, many times the senior folks wouldn’t share what they knew—they felt if they “gave away” their knowledge, they would reduce their value. Larry has never been that way. He is 100% not afraid to share what he knows. He understands sharing your knowledge actually makes you more valuable.”
Larry went above and beyond to teach and mentor Marcus, even calling him out in the middle of the night so Marcus could learn what he looked for, what questions he asked, and what approaches he took.
“I value that time with him greatly and know he has invested a great deal in me. He has helped me develop a level of confidence I never had before. He wouldn’t just give me the easy stuff. He included me in everything. He’d show me how to do something the first time, then go out with me and push me to do it but watch what I did. Then it was up to me. He conveyed a degree of trust in me and I wanted to learn to show him I’d earned that trust. I knew Larry would always answer my questions too, so I never felt like I was totally on my own.”
Marcus’ interest in engineering started at an early age. His mom took his family to Disney World when he was younger. He remembers being so excited to go again the next year, and then she sat him down and explained that they couldn’t go every year; she said if he wanted to be able to afford to go to Disney every year, he needed to get a college degree and find a job that paid well.
“I enjoyed video games, so I researched about that industry and found out that the first gaming console with interchangeable games was developed by an African American (Gerald Lawson) for kids with disabilities that couldn’t get out and play,” Marcus recalled. “I thought that was cool and began to explore electronics. I really learned about engineering as a career in my junior year of high school.”
A few years into his engineering career with National Aerospace Solutions, Marcus is excited for the future.
“I’m excited about working on future technologies to help defend our country. I enjoy learning about the history of AEDC and what we’ve done here. It’s truly amazing to work in this environment and understanding what we’ve done here gives me a deep sense of pride and helps me connect with that history and want to drive things forward. I feel like maybe I’m actually a part of history that will be told someday. Maybe someone will read about something I’ve done the way I found out about Gerald Lawson. I love it out here—I can’t wait to see what’s next!”