Meet: Paul Stuart
Computer Systems Technician, Wright Flyer Project,
Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
I am the NPrime CST (Computer Systems Technician). My job is to operate
the NPrime data acquisition system. For the Wright Flyer test, I will
mainly be recording the tunnel data.This data is mainly concerned with
the fluid conditions in the tunnel and the forces applied to the balance
of the model.
This career came about more an accident than anything else. I have a Bachelors
of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. However, I have been tinkering
with computers since I was six. My past work experience is almost exclusively
in the System Administration field. This career is the beginning of my
attempt to enter the mechanical field in order to follow my career goals.
Positives and Negatives of my Job
The positive aspect is that it allows me to work closely with mechanical
engineers in a relatively relaxed environment. The negative aspect is
that I am not a mechanical engineer and not allowed to directly participate
in mechanical oriented activities.
As a Child
As I stated before, my background in computers started at the same time
I started my education. When I was six, my father brought home a Commodore
Vic-20. When I was ten, he brought home an IBM PC/XT prototype. I built
my first computer in preparation for my first year of college. Throughout
college, that system continually evolved to stay near the cutting edge.
I now own over twelve computers of various manufactures, all of which
I built or salvaged myself. They range from homebrew PC gaming stations
to SGI and Sun design stations.
Start early and always remember that itās a hobby first; the career aspect
is merely a bonus. Don't be afraid to tinker with things. You can only
learn these types of things by doing.
In the future I hope to be more involved in mechanical engineering. In
the farther off future, I hope to be a mechanical designer with an M.FA.
in Industrial Design. I want to shape the way people interact with machines
by sculpting the machines to be more beautiful and more ergonomic while
preserving and enhancing their functionality. I intend, though, to maintain
my hobby in computers by continuing my habits of tinkering and gaming.
I will never stop playing around with computing equipment; I don't think
I can. This might be more of an addiction than a hobby!