UPDATE #32 - September 11, 1998
Tuesday, September 15, 1998, 9:30 AM Pacific Time: Stephen Jaeger, aeroacoustics engineer Aeroacoustics is the study of aircraft noise. Stephen's responsibilities in this area include developing tools for measuring aircraft noise, and conducting acoustics research on wind tunnel models of supersonic jets, airliners and aircraft engines. He also builds new test instruments, designs equipment, analyzes noise data, and presents the results of wind tunnel tests. Read Stephen Jaeger's autobiography and field journals prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/jaeger.html Registration for this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/index.html#chatting
[Editors note: Larry Young is a research engineer at NASA Ames Research Center. He specializes in the aeromechanics of tiltrotor aircraft. Read his bio at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/young.html ]
WORKING WITH PEOPLE/TEAMS
by Larry Young
December 17, 1997 Teamwork is an essential aspect of modern engineering projects. The increasing complexity and cost of most of today's engineering projects dictates that teams -- instead of single individuals -- perform the required work. Engineering project teams can be fairly small (three or four people) or very, very large (thousands of people). The TRAM project which I manage has had several dozens of companies and individuals contributing to the success of the project. A good project manager must always be humble and supportive of each member of his or her team -- for a project's success is not his alone but instead is due to everybody working on the project. Wind tunnel and, in particular, rotorcraft project/test teams are comprised of hard-working, dedicated individuals who often have to work several years on a project before success is achieved. Rotorcraft and wind tunnel projects are challenging -- and success is not always guaranteed. Persistence, team loyalty and respect, and risk management (anticipating and solving problems) are very important to achieve success. Communication and planning skills are also crucial to teamwork. Each team member has a crucial task to perform on a project; each team member relies on his/her team-mates to complete their tasks to insure success. For rotorcraft wind tunnel test teams, the project director and the test director play key roles. The project director is responsible for the definition and implementation of the test objectives and the run "matrix" (tunnel and model operating conditions for which data is acquired to meet the test objectives) and is also responsible for data quality. The test director is responsible for the day-to-day operational execution of the test in a safe and efficient manner. The project director and test director "lead" the test team during the wind tunnel entry. The TRAM/DNW wind tunnel test team, for example, is comprised roughly of twenty team members. Members of the test team come from the U.S. Army, NASA Ames and NASA Langley Research Centers, and Boeing Helicopter (Mesa, AZ). (This is actually a small subset of the total number of individuals who have made key contributions to the TRAM. Dozens of designers, analysts, and machinists contributed to the building of the TRAM models prior to the wind tunnel entry.) Test team members include technicians, mechanics, wind tunnel and model operators, software programmers, instrumentation engineers, data system hardware engineers, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, aeronautical engineers (and project managers). Most rotorcraft wind tunnel projects require roughly the same number of people and skill sets.
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