Employee Feature: ID&C Engineer
Q&A with Davy R. about how he came to work at AEDC, his day-to-day work, and what he thinks is cool about his job.
Date published: April 14, 2022
Davy R. is an Instrumentation, Data and Controls (ID&C) engineer in the Propulsion Wind Tunnels (PWT) in the Flight mission area. Davy has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, both from Tennessee Technological University (TTU).
How did you decide on computer engineering? I really liked computers in high school. I could see that computers weren’t going anywhere. I knew I wanted to enjoy my work and make enough money to enjoy life.
What do you do from day to day? Of course, it varies. At a high level, our plants in PWT run three shifts every day; a lot of the systems are automated. I work with all the computers that help to automate those plant systems that supply the test conditions for the test article. If, for instance, a valve isn’t behaving the way it normally does, they may contact me to troubleshoot.
What do you think is cool about working here? One thing that I think is really cool is that you can transfer to another facility and do a similar job in a completely new environment. The nature of what we do is cool—working with complicated systems, aging systems, and even new systems that you wouldn’t see anywhere else and trying to make them all work together to accomplish the mission.
What do you like about working at AEDC? The 12-year-old answer is everything is really big here. At one time we had the largest motors in the world in PWT Main Drive. We were in the Guinness Book of World Records. Others have popped up now, but the horsepower being provided to the same load is something you can’t work with anywhere else. The other aspect that really makes the hard days worthwhile is how important the data we collect is…that what we do here really matters to someone’s safety at the end of the day.