Meet: Steve Ord
Who I am
I am the wind tunnel Facility Engineering Group Leader. Our engineering
group makes changes to the tunnels to improve performance and keep them
running. I make sure that the engineers are doing the right jobs and have
everything they need to do their jobs well.
My Career Path
My career path here at NASA Ames Research Center began when I was a Student
at San Jose State University. I was a student engineer in Flight Simulations
and made designs and drawings for the other engineers. From there, I moved
to the wind tunnels to become a Facility Engineer. I worked on many projects
such as replacing 20-foot-long bolts on a large rotating compressor that
weighs 900,000 pounds. I eventually became the Facility Engineering Group
Leader. I enjoy this job very much. I have a lot of responsibility and
the projects are very intense.
I decided upon this career field when I was about
12 years old. Around that time I wanted to be a pilot. I started flying
lessons when I was 15. I got my pilot's license at 17 and was right on
track for a career as a pilot. But, during my college years when I was
getting an aeronautics degree, it became clear that with my glasses I
would not be able to be a commercial or military pilot. So, I changed
plans. I studied engineering, and, now, instead of flying planes, I work
with testing them.
I prepared for my career when I was young by building
model airplanes and rockets with my dad and my brother. We built custom
designed rockets and control-line airplanes; we also built remote control
aircraft. Working to get a pilot's license was a lot of fun and has helped
me better understand my job. An engineering degree has proved to be very
useful as well. I believe that I'm still preparing for my career because
I still take courses and still try to learn more and more about engineering.
Why I like my job
One of the best aspects about this job is working with great people on
large projects and installing new equipment. I enjoy big projects the
most. For example, on one of our group's recent projects, we repaired
a 22,500 Horsepower motor. We had to figure out why it had a problem,
how much damage had been done, design a new fix for the problem, install
new equipment, and checkout the system.
My advice to you is that school is very, very important. It is more important
than any part-time job you can have. Not to say that you shouldn't have
a summer job, but you should never stop going to school. So many people
think that money makes people happy. They are wrong! Doing the best you
can, achieving what you want to achieve, and making the world a better
place will make you happy. The sacrifice pays off much more in the long
run. Work hard and play hard. You should look for something that you really
like doing and then pursue it no matter what.
My future plans are to continue my career in engineering management and
to have lots of fun with my career.