Workforce Feature: Grace C.

Position: Mechanical Engineer
Employer: BAE Systems
College: BS from University of New Hampshire, MS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Field(s) of study: BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in thermal and fluid systems
Years at BAE Systems: 1.5

What do you find exciting about your area of focus or your specific job at BAE Systems?
At BAE Systems focus on the mechanical packaging of aircraft systems. These systems must meet extreme thermal and structural environments for which I perform analyses to determine whether the hardware can withstand these environments. The systems that I work on directly correlate to the pilot’s safety, and each successful analysis gets them one step closer to returning home to their family.

Why do you think young adults should consider careers in STEM?
I specifically chose this career path because I wanted to contribute to the welfare and defense of our country – I can see that what I do is making a difference. There is so much diversity in a STEM career path and many people do not realize that there is so much room for creativity. So if you have that creative mind and the aptitude for math and science, you have the ability to develop the latest technology, improve everyday society, and save lives.

Anything else you’d like to provide that you think would encourage someone to consider a STEM career?
Before college, I knew that I loved math and science, but I also knew that I had to try a lot harder than my peers to conceptualize what I was learning. Don’t think that you need straight-A’s to obtain a STEM career. Although it was a difficult educational path, it is by far the most rewarding decision I’ve made to this date because I know I’m making a difference.