March 10, 1999
QuestChat with Steve Bauman
NASA Glenn Research Center
- 5 - 09:34:04 ]
Hello to our early arriving chat participants! Today's Aerospace Team Online
chat with Steve Bauman will begin at 10:00 a.m., Pacific Standard Time.
Be sure you have read Steve's profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/bauman.html
before joining this chat.
- 6 - 09:34:24 ]
Once the chat begins, Steve will attempt to answer as many of your questions
as he can, but please be patient. Today's chat will be MODERATED to help
Steve keep up with our questions. This means that only a few questions
will be posted to the chat room at a time. Don't worry if your questions
do not appear on your screen immediately during moderation. They will
be held in our chat queue and posted as Steve answers those ahead of you.
- 7 - 09:34:46 ]
Remember to enter "Your Handle" in the box provided before posting messages
to the chat room. Once you've done this, please let us know that you have
logged on for today's chat.
- 8 - 09:35:05 ]
At the conclusion of today's chat, we ask that you take a few minutes
to let us know what you thought about it. For your convenience, you may
use our online feedback forms at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.
We look forward to hearing from you!
- 11 - 10:00:47 ]
Hello and welcome to today's Aerospace Team Online chat with Steve Bauman
from NASA John Glenn Research Center. Currently, Steve is trying to figure
out how to prevent models mounted in the 8x6 wind tunnel at Glenn Research
Center (formerly Lewis Research Center) from bouncing around during a
test. He is also helping to design and build a new facility that will
test jet engine combustors, which is a part where fuel is squirted in
- 12 - 10:01:05 ]
And now, here is Steve Bauman to answer your questions.
- 15 - 10:04:37 ]
RE: [Christine] Why did you choose to
go to Case Western? Do you have any suggestions for which schools are
best for Aerospace Engineering majors?
I went to CWRU primarily because it was the school my dad wanted me to
go to - his school. It was a very good school, but I wish I gad been a
bit more selective. I think a less expensive, less prestigious school
would have done the job just fine for me. Look for schools that offer
hands on experience, like labs and design contests.
- 17 - 10:06:15 ]
RE: [Christine] What is the most important
thing you learned in college that you use in you work?
The most important things I learned were more on my own, tinkering, building,
fixing, and asking a lot of questions. High school trig. is the most valuable
math course I ever took. Your career education starts NOW.
- 20 - 10:07:40 ]
RE: [Dane] Have you considered attaching
cables to the models to stabilize it in the wind tunnel during tests?
What are the probelms with this idea?
Yes we have. The problem with doing this is the drag on the cables and
the effect this may have on the research. You are still considering it
- 23 - 10:09:50 ]
RE: [Deb] Could you please share with
us what a typical day on your job is like?
There are fortunately no two day identical. I just got back from speaking
at a high school career day. Other days, I will be read or study drawings
all day. On a good day, I make sketches of new ideas. I also talk to a
lot of people, both in person and on the phone, about how to get a job
- 25 - 10:11:34 ]
RE: [Christine] How time-consuming is
your job? And what type of environment do you work in?
I work a pretty normal work day, usually 7:30-4:00, although this is quite
flexible. I work in a nice, but old, office building that is very comfortable.
I consider myself to be VERY fortunate. I am so glad that I am an engineer,
and that I worked hard to get here.
- 28 - 10:13:24 ]
RE: [Dane] Have you ever seen the Wright
Flyer replica? How big is it compared to the models you work with?
Yes, I have seen a wright flier replica and is is amazing how large it
is! Very few wind tunnel model can be that large. Our largest has a test
section that measures 15 ft wide by 9 feet tall. Most model used are scaled
- 29 - 10:14:59 ]
RE: [Christine] Having your job, do
you feel that you spend enough time with your family?
Yes I do. NASA is a particularly wonderful place to work because I can
keep normal hours, and need work very little overtime. It seems that few
jobs allow for this anymore. And, family is my number one priority!
- 32 - 10:16:36 ]
RE: [Jimmy] Have you ever tried your
design skills with aircraft design?
Not much. I have made my own flying model airplanes, especially when I
was young, and this taught me a lot about how airplanes fly. I love airplanes!
- 33 - 10:18:23 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] Why do you like to
take things apart and put them together?
To learn how they work. By knowing how other things are made to work,
I am better able to use what has already been done for new applications.
And, I can better think of fresh approaches for similar things. I love
- 37 - 10:20:54 ]
RE: [Lonnie] What was it about how things
work that fascinated you?
I always thought that how things work fascinates everybody. I love to
invent new ways of doing things, so I am smartest to find out how things
are already done around me.
- 38 - 10:22:13 ]
RE: [Kristin] How are you going to bild
the new wind tunnel?
The new 1x1 SWT wind tunnel is already done, installed, and operating,
and very well. It is made of welded stainless steel. It is a great design!
- 39 - 10:24:05 ]
RE: [Lonnie] Why did you want to become
an engineer? How did you pick the type of engineering?
I knew, from my interest in machines and how things work, and my interest
in making new things, that engineering would be good. I picked mechanical
after I started college, but now it seems like it was an obvious choice
- 41 - 10:26:32 ]
RE: [Reyes] Why did you have to make
the track 150 feet long?
The track needed to be that long for it to extend from the floor, go up
and arch over and go all the way to the far mic positioning point that
the facility engineers had chosen. In other words, I didn't chose the
length, it was just the result of what was needed. I wish you could see
it - it is really impressive!
- 46 - 10:29:30 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] Who's your hero?
I have no grand hero's in my life, but the most influential person to
me has been my father. He has shown me the right way to do everything.
Today, he is showing me how to be a terrific grandfather, and a productive
- 47 - 10:33:11 ]
RE: [Jimmy] What gave you the idea to
design a ferris wheel? Is it difficult or expensive to do something like
My daughter had thought that the model ferris wheel she saw in a movie
was really neat, so at first I thought I might make her a model for Christmas.
But then I realized that for about the same amount of work, but more clever
engineering, that I could make a real ferris wheel, although small. Three
years ago, my three children unveiled it on Christmas morning in our living
room, and they were the first test pilots too, to ride near to our living
room ceiling and back down again. We still use it today, but its out in
- 48 - 10:33:28 ]
Everyone, once again, Steve is answering your questions as quickly as
he can. We have lots of questions waiting for Steve in our chat queue,
and we'll post them as he answers those ahead of you. For those of you
leaving us early, please be sure to share your thoughts about today's
chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.
Thank you for your patience and for joining us today!
- 49 - 10:35:32 ]
RE: [Luis] I also want to be a engineer.
How should I prepare my self?
Work hard is school. Math and Science are the most important, but all
of the subjects are important. Like English is vital to be able to write
well and to communicate. In high school, take the hardest college prep
course you can - you'll be glad you did later in college! Learn how things
work around you. Tinker.
- 50 - 10:36:28 ]
RE: [Kristin] How big is your ferris
wheel? Does it take up your hole back yard?
The ferris wheel is only about 6 feet tall, but its still a great thrill
even to my 9 year old, but more so for younger children.
- 55 - 10:41:11 ]
RE: [Dane] What are the most exciting
parts of your job?
The best part is seeing something that you personally designed or engineered
being made or assembled, and being installed or made to work. It is very
rewarding to see the end results of your efforts.
- 57 - 10:43:16 ]
RE: [Lonnie] What other kinds of NASA
staff work with you on projects?
I work with designers that help me to figure out how to design things
and then they draw them on a computer. And I work with technicians that
make or assemble the parts. And there are many others as well.
- 59 - 10:45:10 ]
RE: [Jimmy] What kind of writing do
you do in your work? Do you think you will ever write a book?
I write an occasional project report, but more often, I write, sometimes
very detailed, E-mails about issues along the way of a project. I do hope
to write a book or two someday, but not about engineering. I hope to liberate
people's thinking about certain everyday topics.
- 61 - 10:47:16 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] What do you hope to
test in your wind tunnel?
Many things get tested in many kinds of wind tunnels here at Glenn Research
Center, and at all the NASA centers. Anything that is being designed to
fly through air, like airplanes or rockets, are tested in wind tunnels.
Airplane engines and rocket engines are frequently tested.
- 63 - 10:49:54 ]
RE: [JimmyDaneLonnie] You are so lucky
to have season tickets to Cedar Point! When you look at the Magnum or
the Corkscrew or the Mantis, do you think about and wonder about how they
I most definitely do think about how they work, especially since I already
studied them for the traversing mic project that I recently finished up.
Roller coasters are not complicated in principle, but on the other hand,
they are all different in many ways. Did you ever notice how some have
their wheels between the rails and others have them on the outside? And
there are many other variations as well.
- 65 - 10:52:38 ]
RE: [Luis] Did your dad help you with
any projects? Did he influence you?
My dad helped me a lot with most of my projects, and he still does. Ironically,
he didn't like the ferris wheel idea - safety concerns. And so, I had
to do that to prove to him that his son was right. But unfortunately,
he was right two - I have to keep a close eye on it when using it to make
sure nothing breaks. But no one has been hurt, and it was well worth my
- 68 - 10:54:29 ]
RE: [Michelle] Are there any toys that
you recomend children play with to better their engineering abilities?
Yes - there are many toys on the market now that allow you to make many
different things, usually motorized. I think these can be very helpful.
Don't be afraid to try making things on your own, and be sure to ask for
help and advice. I know I do, nearly every day.
- 71 - 10:55:39 ]
RE: [DannyDel] Can anyone come and visit
the wind tunnel site?
Tours are arranged all the time at all the NASA sites, usually for groups.
Call and ask!
- 72 - 10:57:18 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] How old were you when
you built your first machine?
I was probably making things when I was about 9 years old. I started by
making toys for myself, like motor boats or airplanes with spinning propellers.
Later, I got more inventive. Model airplanes had to fly, and boats had
to go fast.
- 76 - 10:59:16 ]
RE: [Luis] Do you want to go to space
I would go to space in a second if asked, but I don't think that's likely.
You can, though, if you work hard and aim to be an astronaut. Most astronauts
have many college degrees and prove themselves before joining NASA. Go
- 77 - 11:01:43 ]
RE: [Dane] What was the purpose of moving
the mics around the dome on tracks in the dome-shaped facility where jet
engine nozzles are tested? What was being measured during the tests?
The mics measure the noise that engines that are being tested make. We
are working to make jet engines quieter when flying over your house. The
mics stay in their designated position during any test. But they are all
gathered at the floor to test the mics and perhaps re-aim them if necessary.
- 78 - 11:02:08 ]
For those of you leaving us, please be sure to share your thoughts about
today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.
- 79 - 11:02:34 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] What's the best thing
you have ever accomplished?
Picking a wonderful wife and having a wonderful family. I couldn't be
a happier person
- 82 - 11:05:30 ]
RE: [Lonnie] You say you are glad to
be an engineer. What other career choices did you consider?
I thought I wanted to be a pilot when I was young. But I learned that
being a commercial pilot can actually be a bit boring, and it doesn't
require much creativity. And so, I became an engineer instead. And, I
earned my a private pilot's license so that I could fly around with a
friend or two around for fun.
- 85 - 11:07:09 ]
RE: [denisse] do you ever work on any
projects for your pets?
I once built a neat dog house when I was perhaps 11 years old. I'm going
to make a fenced dog run for our present dog we can leave her outside
- 87 - 11:09:31 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] How many jobs do you
have, and what are they?
I currently have 4 jobs. Two are to design instrument probes to mount
interchangeably in all of the wind tunnels. One is figuring out how to
stiffen that 8x6 strut. Another is to deign adapters for mounting a new
kind of engine in one test rig. I am very busy.
- 88 - 11:11:25 ]
RE: [Deb] What kind of work did you
enjoy with stagecrafters in high school?
I liked helping to build the set, provide props, and then during the performances,
operating some of the lights. Since then, I have been in the chorus of
a production of Music Man, and Finian's Rainbow. I love musical plays.
- 91 - 11:12:18 ]
RE: [denisseariandmichelle] we are chatting
from our classroom at Machan Elementary in Phx, AZ. We are fifth graders.
Thanks for letting us know, Machan Elementary!
- 94 - 11:13:40 ]
RE: [Dane] What did you study for an
MBA and how did that help you with the job you do now?
My MBA was mostly general business with some specializing in marketing.
It helped me to get jobs because it impressed employers a great deal.
I have not use much of the actual educational material directly, but I
do indirectly quite often. Education is never a waste.
- 96 - 11:15:48 ]
RE: [Deb] What advice would you give
to middle school students about how they can prepare themselves best for
future careers and the world of work?
Work hard at all school subjects. Since everyone tells you this same thing,
ask yourself why? Get involved with extracurricular activities. You MUST
be comfortable socially to be a successful and happy person in life. Aim
for college. Figure out what would make you most happy.
- 99 - 11:17:50 ]
RE: [Deb] What was the nature of the
combustion experiment (performed on the shuttle) that you helped design?
DCE deployed droplets of fuel into air and ignited the nearby fumes. Ignition
and combustion science is vital for improving engine technologies of all
kinds. We will soon have a space station to help us to do these experiments.
- 100 - 11:18:20 ]
RE: [ari] What is your favorite cartoon?
Mighty mouse. It makes sense, doesn't it?
- 103 - 11:19:40 ]
RE: [MrsMetcalf] Is it neat being able
to design things?
It is fantastic and very rewarding to be able to design things. Design
is usually a team effort and everyone plays an important role.
- 104 - 11:21:06 ]
RE: [denisse] Do you want to have another
child? Do you think any of your children will want to be engineers too?
No more children - three is enough. Its still too early to tell if any
of them will be engineers, but I won't be disappointed with whatever they
decide to be as long as they find happiness.
- 108 - 11:22:56 ]
RE: [Deb] Where do you see your field
in ten years? What changes are likely?
It is easy to see design depending more and more on the computer as a
tool. I will have to do sketches and early drawing work on a CAD package.
I see no end to the need for engineers. Technology is a very safe career
- 109 - 11:26:35 ]
RE: [michelle] Do you ever do modifications
to your household appliances for better performance?
My wife often kids me that I am like Tim the Tool man, but no, I haven't
done anything too radical. I have designed new living space and storage
space for our house. Our firewood is loaded into a closet through a door
in the garage and accessed on the other side of the closet through a small
door inside of the house and next to the fireplace. It makes perfect sense
to me, but everyone thinks its quite novel.
- 110 - 11:27:52 ]
RE: [Reyes] How do you make a motor
for space shuttles?
Its very complicated, and I can't help you much there. But one big reason
we invented the space shuttle, which returns the engines to earth, is
so we wouldn't have to keep making so many of them.
- 111 - 11:29:03 ]
RE: [denisse] how fast is the speed
of sound? How do you measure that?
Sound travels at about 850 mph. It has been measured many time in many
different ways. It is different depending on temperature and air density.
- 114 - 11:30:45 ]
RE: [Ari] do you have a favorite project
that you have worked on? Are there any projects that you want to work
on in the future?
My favorite project was the traversing mic system. I seek any job that
requires some creativity - that's what I'm especially good at.
- 115 - 11:32:43 ]
RE: [denisse] Do you know any of the
astronauts who have gone to space over the past few years?
My family met an astronaut after he gave a speech to a very small audience
at a museum. It was really neat to talk with him directly, and get our
picture taken with him. John Glenn also came to speak at NASA and I saw
him. He is a really great guy - very down to earth (pun intended).
- 116 - 11:35:32 ]
RE: [michelle] was it hard to get a
job at NASA?
Actually, yes it was. NASA requires a near 3.0 point average from college,
and I just barely qualified. Also, NASA hires infrequently, especially
over the past few years, so I was lucky. And my dad knew a directorate
head very well who put in a good word for me. I have no sham. But, nothing
is ever impossible, so always try to get what you want, and have patience.
- 117 - 11:35:42 ]
We will now be ending our chat with Steve Bauman from NASA Glenn Space
Center. We would like to thank everyone for joining us today. Our special
thanks to Steve Bauman for staying with us to answer our questions, and
sharing his career experience and expertise with us. Once, again please
share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.
[ LonnieJimmyDaneDeb - 118 - 11:35:49
Thank you so much for all of your time and trouble with answering our
[ Christine - 119 - 11:35:49 ]
Thank you for your time, Mr. Bauman!
- 120 - 11:36:12 ]
We hope you can join us for our next Aerospace Team Online/Wright Flyer
Online chat with Fred Culick. This chat is scheduled for Thursday, March
11 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Check the Aerospace Team Online
chat schedule page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting to
learn more about this chat. Also check our schedule of events page at
http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events/ to learn about other upcoming
chats with NASA experts.
- 121 - 11:37:26 ]
Thanks you all - its been fun!