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Job Opening: HMC Engineering Rocket Technician

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Graham Orr

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Hi everyone. Below is a draft job description (and will likely show a some changes as details are figured out) of a position opening up for rocket and engineering savvy people:

The Harvey Mudd College Engineering Department is looking for a part-time technician to keep the equipment and technology in the Sophomore Engineering Laboratory Course running smoothly for the 2009-2010 academic year. The ideal candidate would be familiar with high-power rocketry with at least an NAR or a Tripoli Level 1 certification, familiarity with setting up and troubleshooting rocket avionics such as the AED R-DAS with telemetry and the PerfectFlite Alt15k, familiarity with setting up and maintaining launch stands and launch controllers, acquaintance with LabVIEW, and a willingness to learn how to maintain a test facility with a wind tunnel, a low pressure chamber, a turntable centrifuge, a tap-test facility, and a portable static-motor test stand.

The lab itself runs from mid-January through April 2010, and the technician would need to be on campus from 1 PM until 5 PM, Tuesday through Friday. In addition, the technician would oversee a series of four weekday afternoon launches with low-power (B and C motor) rockets in late January 2010, and two Saturday launches with high-power (G, H, and I motor) rockets at Lucerne Valley on the third and fourth Saturdays in April 2010. Before the lab starts, there will be a few training sessions with the lead professor (who is going on Sabbatical) in the Summer of 2009, and several sessions in the Fall of 2009 to make sure the equipment is operating and to train the faculty and student proctors on the lab equipment.

The search committee will review all applications as soon as they arrive and would like to have the position filled by 31 May 2009. Harvey Mudd College is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the recruitment of historically underrepresented candidates.


Please email me (with your resume/CV) if you are interested. I'll forward your information to the Dept.

Best Regards (and good luck!),
Graham
 

bobkrech

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Actually sounds more like a perfect TA position for a graduate student whose into rocketry.

Bob
 

ben_ullman

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oh man I wish I lived closer. I would jump all over that.
Ben
 

Graham Orr

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oh man I wish I lived closer. I would jump all over that.
Ben
Yeah, even though I'm on the search committee, I wouldn't mind sticking around to run the lab...

*unfortunately*, I'm accepting a propulsion job with Blue Origin... so I'm moving away indefinitely...
 

sandmantoy

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I would quit my job and move for a nice job working on rockets or rocketry :D Everybody at work always asks what I am working on now lol :D
 

cjl

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That sounds absolutely awesome. Why doesn't my university have a TA position like that?


:(
 

kramer714

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Graham,

My company is in Inglewood www.foammatrix.com , we develop and produce composite integrated structures. We are working on a program for the next few months that is semi rocket related, could swap some composites experience for some student labor, possibly an internship this summer.

Contact me if your group is interested,

Mike Kramer
 
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bobkrech

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Yeah, even though I'm on the search committee, I wouldn't mind sticking around to run the lab...

*unfortunately*, I'm accepting a propulsion job with Blue Origin... so I'm moving away indefinitely...
Graham

That's a pretty good gig. On what planet?

Bob
 

Graham Orr

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it appears the pay will be quite competitive and variable depending on your level of expertise.
 

n5wd

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No takers?
It is a shame some young 'un hasn't jumped on this opportunity, yet. Maybe you need to recruit from the local high school's TARC programs! I've got one senior that just passed his TRA Level 2 last weekend, and would probably be perfect except now that the High Power Fever has set in, he thumbs his nose at anything less than a "G". :D
 

bobkrech

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No takers?
I'm not surprised. What academics and younger students think is a good job opportunity usually isn't.

This basically looks like a 4 month, 16 hour a week job starting in January 2010 and ending in April 2010. Most people need to work a 40 hour a week job to pay the bills, and almost everyone prefers to work a day shift. In 2008 the median income for a family of 4 in California was $71K which is ~$34 per hour. If I understand the job correctly, it's for ~272 hours. I seriously doubt that the University is paying any benefits or more than $20 per hour (and that might be generous), so the job is probably only worth about $5500 or so.

Like I mentioned a month ago, it's really a nice TA job. It's not going to pay the bills for most adults, and you're not going to get someone to give up their day job for the opportunity to help out with a rocketry class. You might luck out an get a retired aerospace worker, or find a wealthy individual who doesn't need the income, but due to the part-time nature of the job, and the time of day required, it precludes most of the qualified individuals who might consider it.

Bob
 

Graham Orr

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To dispel some perceptions on here:

The position can be full-time if the person is available 40 hours a week. Right now, we have one of the most talented Full Professors working 40+ hours a week only on this class.

The laboratory equipment needs someone who is not just a rocket buff, but also understands broader aspects of engineering. As such, very few engineering bachelors may be qualified for the job. A masters is more likely.

If the department is impressed with this person's work after this session, the person may be eligible for a permanent position.

To give you a feel of the academic environment, the school currently has active technical fellowship (required) programs with the following companies:
Aerovironment
Applied Biosystems
Citadel Investment Group
Linkedin Corp
Cardinal Health x 2
Space Systems Loral
Nike x 2
Southwest Research Inst
Chicago Trading Company
Lien Foundation/NTJ
Three Valleys Water
Fox Interactive Media - Myspace
DirecTV
Intel
Obei-AHADD
Aura-NOAO
Obei-nanofiber
Sargent Fletcher
ODE Toolkit
Lawrence Livermore National Labs
Genius.com Inc
Orthodyne Electronics
Magnify 360
Laserfiche
Los Alamos National Lab
The Platform for Media
Honeywell Aerospace
TREX Enterprises
Aerospace Corp
CIMIT
Qualcomm
Northrop Grumman
Syngenta
Fair Isaac Corp
Stanford Research Institute

This, by no means, is a honky-tonk operation. Please be familiar with IMUs, telemetry systems, rotation matrices, solid rocket motors, mechanical/electrical resonance, etc.
 

Graham Orr

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"It is a shame some young 'un hasn't jumped on this opportunity, yet. Maybe you need to recruit from the local high school's TARC programs! I've got one senior that just passed his TRA Level 2 last weekend, and would probably be perfect except now that the High Power Fever has set in, he thumbs his nose at anything less than a "G". "

Well, unfortunately, I do not think that any HS will be up to these tasks. We've designed IMU, centrifuges, pitot assemblies, signal conditioning boards, composite structures, etc. The sophomore engineers are inexperienced, but they are among the brightest young engineering students in the country.

But... yeah, G's, H's, I's this year powering rockets that required about 300 hours of assembly (each) and cost several thousand dollars each. 5 rockets will accumulate 60 flights in the next two weekends...all with onboard DAQ, telemetry, video, etc...

http://www.thirdcritical.com/RDL/Mudd_III.html
 

henry8minus1

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If you really are looking for someone with a masters in engineering then you should include that in your description of the Ideal Candidate. When I read your opening post I don't get the sense that this was an engineering job requiring a masters degree and ??? years of experiance. If that is the case you should state that.


Just my thinking!
Jeff
 

Graham Orr

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The Masters degree is NOT required. However, someone with that degree of expertise is wanted.

UPDATE:
From what I hear, we've found somebody. Bob, could you close this thread?
 

n5wd

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Wayne previously said said:
"It is a shame some young 'un hasn't jumped on this opportunity, yet. Maybe you need to recruit from the local high school's TARC programs! I've got one senior that just passed his TRA Level 2 last weekend, and would probably be perfect except now that the High Power Fever has set in, he thumbs his nose at anything less than a "G". "
Well, unfortunately, I do not think that any HS will be up to these tasks. We've designed IMU, centrifuges, pitot assemblies, signal conditioning boards, composite structures, etc. The sophomore engineers are inexperienced, but they are among the brightest young engineering students in the country.

But... yeah, G's, H's, I's this year powering rockets that required about 300 hours of assembly (each) and cost several thousand dollars each. 5 rockets will accumulate 60 flights in the next two weekends...all with onboard DAQ, telemetry, video, etc...
Just goes to show how hard it is to write a "The ideal candidate will have... and be willing to.... " when you have a different vision of what the ideal candidate really should be! Glad you found someone, though.
 
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