Meet: Mike Herrick
Senior Electrical Engineer
Who I am
My career path
In the summer I worked for the University of Arizona, building and testing circuits and taking data for lightning research. There are many electrical storms in Arizona in summer-almost every day in July and August. We tried to photograph a lightening stroke and record the amplitude of the current. We used a high-speed camera focused on a metal spike that would attract lightning.
I started working for NASA right after graduation. And except for a few years when I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, a consulting engineering company in wastewater treatment, and for GE working on power generation, I have worked for NASA my whole career.
As a child
Also, consider becoming an amateur radio operator. It teaches you about communications and how to design and build electronic circuits; you meet nice people who will teach you. You can be involved in public service as a volunteer communicator during emergencies and/or special events, and you can also talk to people from around the world.
Try building and flying model airplanes. You will learn about small gasoline engines and how to use your hands. You need to have someone be your mentor.
My high school physics teacher was another major influence. He was also the Science Coordinator for the Tucson Public School System. I remember he wore a slide rule tie-tac, and I learned to use a slide rule as a junior in high school.
Electrical engineering is heavily math oriented, and one of my math professors in college was an outstanding mentor. He really made a difference.
I like to fish and fly airplanes (I do this at a flying club at a local airport). I have an old sports car (MGB), and I like to repair things and fix up the house. My wife enjoys these projects, too.
After I retire from NASA, I'll probably do some consulting and design work and continue mentoring younger engineers. I'd like to volunteer more and help others, perhaps in Habitat for Humanity. I also want to travel more.