career essay paper

Hi, my name is Katie Nguyen, I would like to sincerely thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and for taking the time to review my qualifications.  I graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a grade point average of 3.0.   When I was young, I enjoyed taking things apart and re-assembling them, I like to use my hands to create and see actual results.  Being oldest my the family, I have always been one to install electronic devices for house, repairing computer issues, set up the TV and wire the vcr and dvd player.

Q:  “Please highlight your resume and explain why you made certain decisions in your career

and moved from one job (or project) to another.”

Some of my achievements involved releasing a hardware description and hardware requirement document as well as intergrated circuit design document (ICD) for various Auxiliary Power Systems including Boeing 787, APS 5000, Airbus 380, Full Authority Digital Electronic Controllers (FADEC) specifically the Fan Motor Controller while working at Hamilton Sundstrand.  In conjunction,  I generated reliability and safety documentation, namely Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) on circuit components and developed Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) estimates.   My experience at Hamilton Sundstrand was invaluable, but I wanted to explore new challenges.

At General Atomic Aeronautical Systems, Inc. , I discovered new exciting responsibilities working with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, the idea of robotic airborne vehicle ,controlled from the ground station, flying in the air with numerous imaging sensors and payloads  strikes me.  I learned quickly being on the electrical integration team meant overseeing the entire aircraft electronic systems.   We follow SAE 5088, aerospace standards and provisions for wiring system safety, performance, reliability and maintainability.   As an integration engineer, we develop and release the system interconnect diagram, I’ve generated multiples for different aircraft platforms.   When designing cable assemblies for integrated payloads, the initial step is creating a functional block diagram, which is followed by a wiring diagram.  Manufacturing process is followed through in all cable design as well as performance, weight savings, and reliability.  I’ve learned to work with the concept of product optimization, minimize cost and increase reliability, analysis were taken for each power cable in calculating for voltage drop from one line replaceable unit to another.


Q:  “ please give examples about what makes you an extraordinary candidate for SpaceX?”

During my stay with General Atomics Aeronautical System, I have contributed numerous ideas and recommendations to process improvements meeting customer specifications.  First, I generated engineering change from standard 150degree C military wire, M27500, to process controlled wire for better performance.  The 55pcXXXX, process controlled wire can withstand 600-Volt, extremely light airframe wire with tin-coated copper conductor, that comes in various conductor and jacket colors, which offers high temperature rating at 300 degree C, crosslinked.  Additionally, I have incorporated engineering change to replace inline disconnect, flange connector, with flangeless connector.  Flange connector have been known to nicked and or cut through the anti-chaffing mesh material over long period of flight hours.  Flangeless connector come in circular shape similar to a plug and would eliminate nicking through the insulation sleeving on the cable.  In conjunction, I’ve released source controlled document to implement the use of mechanical splice to replace solder splice as they proved to have better reliability in cable fabrication.

From a number of cable rework, I’ve came across one cable that has caused a crash due to an older design using solder splice, which at high altitude melted .  I was put on the assignment to redesign the cable and make it work, my procedure included taking the cable assembly lay it out on the aircraft while working with manufacturing engineer and the technician.  We looked cable length was verified, routing path, and bend radius allowance.  With both the new wire type and mechanical splice parts being in the system, I made sure the mechanical splice needed to be cleared from bend areas.  We lengthened the cable using the bend area as a reference point, I introduced new process controlled cross link wire to replace the old military standard wire.  My redesign passed flight and operational test, an overall success.

Finally, one of my other challenge project was involved in building 30 sets of cable assemblies in a time span of 2 months.  Which means, design the cable, create a functional block diagram with a power scheme to allow for switching and sharing power among multiple devices where power switch is a limited resource.  The block diagram included EMI power filter isolation, with High Definition video and a diode or box, allow for transmission of C band and Ku Band link was another criteria between the ground control station and the aircraft.  Knowing I had a short time span I came in on the weekends and stayed behind later and make sure to meet my time line for parts order, design cables, get ready for software integration test and be ready for flight test, all of which were successful.  The one lesson learned from this assignment is to keep organized, trouble shoot one problem at a time and make sure differential signals are grouped and shielded in twisted pairs.

I believe I will be a great asset to Space X as I am not only a diligent worker, I am adaptable and resourceful with innovation and a goal oriented mind set I am excellent  at follow-through.  I am a strong advocate for process improvement recommendation providing  a closed loop process for employees to submit recommendation that affect safety, products and processes.  As manufacturing engineer- Integration, I intend to obtain, maintain and retain a good force of labor including technician and assembler.  I would recommend the following to maintain a lean production line.  First and foremost is proper training, initiate process and follow standards.  Every failure, issue caught by technician or  assembler,  they would log in and enter all the necessary steps they took to fix the problem, this would be saved in a database to trend the most common failure.  Instead of using tribal knowledge, this process  improves reliability, productivity and efficiency thus reduces overhead spent in training in long term.  I am a firm believer in the method of corrective action system, similar to the FRACAS, failure reporting, analysis, and corrective action system.   I admire the inspiration of space fairing human civilization and I feel very fortunate to be born in this era and be apart of and hope to have the opportunity to contribute effectively to the revolutionize launch manifest of space vehicles.

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