Airplanes, Space Shuttles, Drones…Oh My!

During National Aerospace Week, First Book is sharing stories about science and engineering from some of our friends at Lockheed Martin, sponsors of First Book’s Springboard to STEM program. Today’s guest blogger is Ray Burick, Vice President of P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. 

Airplanes. Space shuttles. Drones. Satellites. Space stations. Fighters. Cargo planes. Commercial jets. Stealth technology.

The aerospace industry is not only fascinating, but is also the very definition of cutting edge technology. Aerospace is challenging, innovative, progressive and dynamic.  And, it impacts so many other industries.  Just imagine how different our lives and world would be without contributions from the aerospace industry. 

From a larger picture, the aerospace industry brings the world closer together, literally, with the products that it produces.  It also ensures that the freedoms we value as a country are there for future generations.

From a career perspective, the aerospace industry offers growth and challenges to the people it employs. My first job involved installing engines into new aircraft designs.  Today, I have the privilege of overseeing operations for one of the world’s most unique and vital aircraft, the P-3 Orion.

Each job I’ve had as an aerospace engineer has come with a certain set of responsibilities.  Not only has each role expanded my knowledge of an aircraft, it also enabled me to manage teams, budgets, logistics and operations in varying degrees.  Everything I learned from working with a small team of engineers, I use every day in working with the entire P-3 team that includes more than 1,300 individuals.

Being a part of the aerospace industry offers you the chance to gain experience from day one on the job. You have access to a variety of jobs, from conceptual design to supporting aircraft on missions once they are delivered to the customer.  I remind myself daily that not a lot of other industries have such a range of career opportunities like the ones found in the aerospace community.
I love my career.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  My hope for the future of my industry is that today’s students are as amazed by the possibilities of working in aerospace as I am.  If you want to literally help shape and design the future, check out what the aerospace industry can offer you.  I can promise you that you’ll never run out of opportunities to literally shoot for the moon and beyond.