April 02, 2013

Call From NASA (Part II)

Ben Plotner at NASA

Ben Plotner, BSEE '14, writes about his co-op at America's space agency in the second of a three-part series

Ben Plotner, Electrical Engineering, 2014

Co-op Employer:  NASA

Co-op Position:  Intern for Launch Control System Project

Hometown:  Ipswich

For the past three months, I have had the privilege and incredible opportunity of working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  Over the course of my time at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, I have learned so much and have gained an immeasurable amount of experience.  I have been given the chance to actively contribute to a wide variety of exciting projects and interact and work with diverse teams of expert engineers and technicians.  Their advice and guidance have been extremely helpful and have allowed me to utilize what I have learned and integrate it into my work.

Throughout my experience at the Kennedy Space Center, I have learned of the vital importance of teamwork and collaboration.  These concepts are at the very core of everything that we do.  There are very few areas or practical applications that will require only one field of expertise.  The complex and intricate technologies and systems that are developed here at NASA require diverse teams of engineers from a variety of fields and disciplines.  As a part of an interdisciplinary team, it is important to understand not only the part that I play, but also the part that every team member plays and how all these pieces come together and are integrated as a whole.

What I have enjoyed most about my time here, aside from the sunny Florida weather, is the perspective I have gained of the various disciplines and fields that come together in my work.  In my experience, I have learned a great deal about not only my discipline, but those of the many team members that I work with.  This has given me the chance to learn about and contribute to a vast variety of projects, ranging from designing and constructing a satellite to managing and configuring computer networking hardware and software.

The team based labs and projects at Wentworth have taught me how to successfully work in a team and collaborate and communicate with one another to achieve a goal.  I use these skills every day in my projects.  The abilities and knowledge necessary to do my job all stem from the experience that Wentworth has given me.

For more from Ben Plotner (Part 1), click here.

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