|Posted on Jul 29, 2011 10:46:54 AM | Maria Acevedo-Rivera | 1 Comments ||
As I walked along that sandy beach listening to the waves crash against the Virginia shore with the sun rising up ahead; I could not help but think “Wow! I am getting paid to walk along this beautiful beach with the love of my life!” The “love of my life” being GROVER, Goddard’s remotely operated vehicle for exploration and research. This day we were testing the GROVER’s track system which my team and I had poured our hearts and souls into for the past several weeks preparing for this test at Wallops Flight Facility. I know describing a robot as “the love of my life” is a little silly but this is how I have come to view all my work at Goddard. I love the work I do at Goddard and I hope to be doing this type of work for all my life.
Christine with her pride and joy GROVER.
However, my walk on the beach with GROVER is just a snapshot of the work and experiences I have had this summer. To be fair I should talk about all “my loves”. Yeah, I get around (Center) a lot! As an intern in the Advanced Manufacturing Branch (Code 547) I am responsible for coordinating the fabrication efforts for four different intern teams. This gives me a real education in how things “get done” at Goddard. I also had the opportunity to develop my skills in the area of mechanical design while working as the mechanical design engineer on a project designing an eletrohydrodynamic cooling loop experiment for an upcoming parabolic test flight. This test flight is jokingly nicknamed “the vomit comet”. This has been a great opportunity to gain practical design experience and in Code 547 style “bringing concepts to flight”.
However, the people I was able to work with and learn from this summer are what have made this experience incredible! I am working with engineers who are doing exactly the job that I want to have one day. This experience has given me great direction as I continue my studies at Georgia Tech in the fall. My mentor, Mr. Matt Showalter has been able to observe my work and any challenge I have faced and relate it directly to a lesson in the grander scheme of how things work at Goddard. This summer I have really felt a part of Goddard’s team. “We are raising a village.” I have heard my mentor say this phrase many times over my past two summers in the Advanced Manufacturing Branch. Mentors invest so much time and energy in their student interns. Employees at Goddard are always willing to help and truly want you to succeed. Our branch secretary, Carole Rehm and her husband Ken actually opened their home to me and one other intern for the summer. The supportive employees are what makes Goddard’s intern program great!
Christine in the Utah Desert at a Mars Society Camp.
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