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Meet Ira Chandler

a photo of ira

Instrument Technician
NASA Ames Research Center

Who I am
I am an Instrumentation Technician. I install, calibrate, check, and set up all the instruments. We assist the engineers in preparing the model for the test and in solving problems. I have been at NASA Ames Research Center for two years.

My Career Path
I have been in instrumentation for over twenty years. I worked for the FMC Corporation in Newark for twenty years and before that I worked for Romic Environmental Corporation for five years. I graduated from Laney College in Oakland where I studied electronics. I always knew that I wanted to work with my hands. I had a mentor named Felix Dandois who gave me some encouragement in my work.

Why I Like my Job
I enjoy having the opportunity to work with engineers. I enjoy each new project. I get to open something up and get my hands on it. There can be thousands of wires and I learn where each one goes. I gain an understanding of the importance of each wire and how neatly they have been connected. The is a great satisfaction in knowing that each job starts as a wiring diagram on a piece of paper and after you have installed the instrumentation it all checks out. There’s a joy in making it all work.

My advice to a young person is to pick you career field and then start out at the bottom and work your way up. I think this is the best way to really get the experience and knowledge that will allow to tackle jobs with confidence. Always take pride in your work and it will always work out right. It’s a wonderful time to be alive. How far you go depends on your determination and your ability. You can go a long way if you are determined.

In my free time I play golf, my handicap is about 18. I used to enjoy bowling but now I have trouble with my knees. I have three children and two grandchildren. I used to have a cockatiel. I also enjoy barbecuing.


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