Header Bar Graphic
Shuttle Image and IconAerospace HeaderBoy Image
Spacer TabHomepage ButtonWhat is NASA Quest ButtonSpacerCalendar of Events ButtonWhat is an Event ButtonHow do I Participate ButtonSpacerBios and Journals ButtonSpacerPics, Flicks and Facts ButtonArchived Events ButtonQ and A ButtonNews ButtonSpacerEducators and Parents ButtonSpacer
Highlight Graphic
Sitemap ButtonSearch ButtonContact Button

Meet: Mary Reveley

a photo of Mary

Aerospace Engineer
NASA Lewis Research Center - PSAO Office

My Journals
Archived Chats


Who am I?

I Work in the Propulsion Systems Analysis Office (PSAO). The PSAO is a systems analysis group within NASA Lewis' Aeronautics Directorate. We analytically predict the thermodynamic cycle performance of a variety of air-breathing engines, perform aeromechanical engine design, aircraft trajectory calculations, economic assessments, and environmental analyses in support of many NASA aeronautics programs. I specifically calculate the costs and benefits of implementing new propulsion and aviation technologies.

My Career Journey

It is very difficult to decide what you want to do with your life when you are not even eighteen years old. There's so much to choose from and so little that you are aware of. I had difficulty in deciding in what direction I wanted to go with my life. I loved art but decided I didn't want to be a "starving artist." I also loved animals, and thought of becoming a veterinarian, but since chemistry and I didn't get along, I decided against that route. I have always liked math, science and airplanes. It wasn't until my sophomore year in college that I decided that a good way to combine the three would be to study aeronautical engineering. My career path has changed continually as my interests have changed. The job market for aeronautical engineers was tight when I graduated from college. My first job after graduation was working as an accident reconstructionist (car accidents) and expert witness (in court). I didn't enjoy this, so I decided instead to teach high school math. I found this to be too stressful. It's not easy motivating high school students to like and learn math. Finally I found a job at NASA and spent the next eight years designing fluid systems (piping, valves, pumps, etc.) in support of aeronautical research.

Designing piping lost its luster and I yearned to get back to what I studied in college: airplanes. I was fortunate to obtain a transfer into the Propulsion Systems Analysis Group, which got me back to airplanes!

The best way to prepare for your future career or careers is to take as many math and science classes as possible. It is also important to have computer skills and communications skills. This means taking English and foreign language classes. Whatever career you choose, you can't go wrong with a strong background in all of these. If you are anything like me, you'll change your mind as you life goes on.

Likes/Dislikes of My Career

It's exciting to be working on state of the art concepts, being challenged to push outside the envelope, and always working on something new. I enjoy working with people from other NASA centers and traveling for my job.

Since I enjoy interacting with other people, sometimes working at my computer gets tedious. I'm married with two small children. It is difficult to balance my work life with my family life. Fortunately, NASA allows for a flexible work schedule to help me balance the two. Also, being organized is important.

Influences in My Life

No one influenced me to take math, science, or become an engineer. In fact, some people tried to discourage me from doing so. I give credit to my father and mother for raising me with enough confidence and self worth to go out into the world and choose my career without allowing others to limit my options. Interestly, my father never liked engineers, but supported me in my chose anyway.

Personal Information

I am married with two girls that are five and seven years old. I like to play volleyball, soccer, and softball. I also enjoy drawing and painting, camping, hiking and spending lots of time with my family.

Future Plans

I plan to continue to learn more about aeropropulsion and the aviation industry and use the knowledge to do my job better. I also plan to learn how to fly a plane, go skydiving, travel and spend time with my family

Some Advice

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

--Mark Twain

Archived QuestChats with Mary Reveley

Footer Bar Graphic
SpacerSpace IconAerospace IconAstrobiology IconWomen of NASA IconSpacer
Footer Info