gorcee wrote:Oh hey, good combination. I do a bit of corrosion work myself, actually!
I seem to recall you being knowledgeable about avionics; does this mean your work involves a large amount of physics and, if so, do you also have some sort of physics education or did you just somehow pick it up while working?
Don't answer if you don't want to, naturally
I don't have a lot of formal physics education, although I did do a fellowship at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory working on the NSTX fusion reactor.
My degree is in Applied Math, but for the first 3 years of my undergrad career I was a double major in Aeronautical/Mechanical Engineering (dual) and Mathematics. Medical circumstances prevented me from completing my engineering studies, and I was forced to forfeit a semester's worth of financial aid due to the circumstances. So I have a pretty strong educational background in engineering.
My primary area of expertise is on numerical methods and modeling. I work for a private company that specializes in signal processing and modeling and control systems. A lot of our work has to do with flight control, but the theoretical background behind the methods becomes applicable to other fields. And a lot of advanced modeling techniques have to do with uncertainty quantification. This has led us to some contracts in areas that would not, at first glance, be related to traditional closed-loop control.
As a result, I spend a lot of my time reading up and studying things that are outside of my domain of expertise so that I can adapt them to my domain of expertise: ie, understanding corrosion models to develop life-cycle analysis simulations based on parametric uncertainty quantification. It makes me a bit of a jack of all trades but master of none. Nevertheless, I love it, which is why I focused on applied math in the first place. I don't know a lot about corrosion, but I had to learn enough to stand in front of a bunch of career corrosion experts at NASA and present original research (and convince them we were worthy of winning the next phase of the research). Of course, I don't do this alone. We subcontract actual corrosion experts, and they help review the work and help guide the direction of the research. Applied research is absolutely a team effort. But I enjoy my part in it greatly.
Right now, I'm working on a biomedical project gearing up for human subject testing. Next month, I'll be working on corrosion modeling. The month after that, aeroelasticity modeling.
All things considered, I got pretty lucky with a decent gig.