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Meet: Hank Schwoob

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Numerical Control Programmer
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

My Webcast

Who I Am
I am a numerical control (N/C) programmer in the Developmental Machining and Electromechanical Instrumentation Branch. We make models and support research apparatus for scientists or engineers to use and test. We use computer-controlled machines to manufacture these models. I take the engineers complex computer created geometry and I use Computer Aided Design/ Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software that is loaded on my computer and convert the geometry into a machine code that the N/C machine will understand. The machine code produced contains assigned numerical values (x, y, z coordinates) that controls machine movements for the particular design. Sometimes I have the opportunity to run the machines that I've programmed to make parts.

My Career Path
After high school I went to De Anza Community College in Cupertino, California. I have two Associate degrees. One in Experimental Tool & Die, and the second in Numerical Control Programming. I had an internship at NASA Ames Research Center while I was a student.

When I graduated college I worked as a machinist at Alameda Naval Air Station, in Alameda, California. I helped repair aircraft and aircraft carriers including the catapult track covers (all 200 yards) for the USS Kitty Hawk.

While I was working at Alameda I stayed in touch with the people I interned with at NASA and eventually I was hired at NASA Ames Research Center and I have worked here ever since.

I advise high school students who are interested in a career similar to mine to study, drafting, math and  industrial arts. I also recommend getting involved with the First Robotics Competitions either in the Legos League or in the Robotics competition. You will learn about production and find it challenging.

Future Plans
When I retire I plan to teach. I hope to teach industrail technology classes and to also enter in the robotics competition.

I am married and have two children, a girl and a boy. In my spare time I consult with six high school robotics teams. I advise them on mechanics, machining, structural design and how to run the machine shop.


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