Young A&D Professional: Troy Lambert

Systems Engineer
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
B.S., Tennessee State University, Computer Science
M.S., George Washington University, Systems Engineer

When did you first decide to take STEM courses and/or pursue a career in engineering?

I decided to take STEM courses in high school. After doing many STEM-related after school activities in middle school, I decided to find a high school curriculum that supported this new interest. I applied and tested to get into a school that had a program based around Math, Science, and Applied Technology (MSAT). Doing exceptionally well in this high school program and taking math classes up to Calculus and computer programming led me to apply to a college engineering program and then to Lockheed Martin.

Who was most influential in your decision making?

My mother played a huge part in my interest in STEM, and ultimately helped to shape my career. I grew up in a single parent home where education was always a priority. Even during summer break, before we went outside to play, we had to complete a chapter of a math workbook or read a chapter of some type of science book. I believe this created a certain work ethic, as well as helped me to keep my mind sharp and review concepts while other people were doing other things. This helped me to excel academically, and on into my professional career.

What do you do in your job?

In my current role as a Systems Engineer, I work with other countries on products that Lockheed Martin Aeronautics provides our allies and partners. This requires understanding the customer’s culture, their needs, and the climate and state of their governmental affairs. I work with these customers to help set requirements, answer questions about products and to help monitor cost and schedule.

Why do you like your job?

One aspect I enjoy is getting to understand foreign cultures. Taking the time to understand a culture and the people in it brings such an appreciation for them, as well as what we have here in America. Also, I love the travel. Being able to travel to these countries and see how other countries live and operate is beyond amazing. Tasting the food, buying trinkets, and just experiencing the day to day life of another culture builds an awareness of who that customer is, and the differences within my own culture.

Any advice to young students wanting to pursue a career in engineering and enter the aerospace industry?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to fail. We are so conditioned to be ashamed to not already know something or to fail, but those questions or those lessons will give you a greater understanding of why things are the way they are and what not to do as you progress through your career.