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ENGINEERING PROFESSOR/SPACECRAFT DESIGN RESEARCHER: Failures Are Successes As Well

About this video 

Michael is an engineering professor and researcher of spacecraft design and microsystems. On a typical day, he will teach one engineering class, then work with his graduate students on their research. His current research project are performed in conjunction with NASA and the National Science Foundation. He currently spends part of his year working with LSU and spends summers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on research projects for spacecraft design. He tells us that failures are also successes in a way because you have eliminated an option and are one step closer to figuring out what you want.

School: University of Michigan - University of Florida
Degree: Mechanical Engineering - Aerospace Engineering
Job Title: Professor of Engineering and Spacecraft Design Researcher
Employer: Louisiana State University

Job Summary: Aerospace Engineers

Job Description

Aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. In addition, they test prototypes to make sure that they function according to design. Aerospace engineers are employed in industries whose workers design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft. Aerospace engineers are employed primarily in analysis and design, manufacturing, industries that perform research and development, and the federal government.

On-the-Job Training

None

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$60,000 - $145,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Physically demanding, Remote, Home, Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Mathematical skills, Teamwork, Written communication skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='320'>Hi,</span> <span m='480'>I'm</span> <span m='640'>Michael</span> <span m='950'>Martin.</span> <span m='2090'>I</span> <span m='2180'>teach</span> <span m='2510'>engineering</span> <span m='3090'>at</span> <span m='3230'>Louisiana</span> <span m='3800'>State</span> <span m='4140'>University.</span> <span m='5030'>And</span> <span m='5310'>I</span> <span m='5410'>do</span> <span m='5780'>research</span> <span m='6570'>on</span> <span m='6910'>microsystems</span> <span m='8109'>and</span> <span m='8400'>spacecraft</span> <span m='9000'>design.</span> </p><p><span m='9630'>When</span> <span m='10050'>you</span> <span m='10150'>teach</span> <span m='10530'>engineering</span> <span m='11230'>and</span> <span m='11400'>do</span> <span m='11570'>research,</span> <span m='13126'>I</span> <span m='14000'>typically</span> <span m='14780'>have</span> <span m='15140'>one</span> <span m='15370'>class</span> <span m='15730'>a</span> <span m='15790'>day</span> <span m='16120'>that</span> <span m='16329'>I will</span> <span m='16700'>teach</span> <span m='17130'>and</span> <span m='17310'>work</span> <span m='17540'>with</span> <span m='17700'>the</span> <span m='17780'>students.</span> <span m='18890'>And</span> <span m='19120'>then</span> <span m='19510'>I</span> <span m='19680'>do</span> <span m='19920'>research</span> <span m='20520'>with</span> <span m='20750'>the</span> <span m='20860'>graduate</span> <span m='21360'>students.</span> <span m='22030'>And</span> <span m='22200'>we</span> <span m='22820'>will</span> <span m='23480'>meet</span> <span m='23810'>and</span> <span m='24040'>go</span> <span m='24270'>over</span> <span m='24630'>the</span> <span m='24780'>research</span> <span m='25320'>that</span> <span m='25430'>they've</span> <span m='25700'>been</span> <span m='25890'>doing</span> <span m='26660'>and</span> <span m='26830'>the</span> <span m='26910'>designs</span> <span m='27520'>they've</span> <span m='27680'>been</span> <span m='27900'>coming</span> <span m='28220'>up</span> <span m='28440'>with</span> <span m='28710'>and</span> <span m='28880'>try</span> <span m='29130'>to</span> <span m='29210'>sort</span> <span m='29750'>out</span> <span m='30270'>the</span> <span m='30590'>technical</span> <span m='31130'>questions</span> <span m='32009'>that</span> <span m='32229'>they</span> <span m='32360'>may</span> <span m='32500'>have.</span> <span m='33520'>And</span> <span m='33710'>then</span> <span m='35480'>some</span> <span m='35720'>of</span> <span m='35790'>my</span> <span m='35940'>day</span> <span m='36150'>is</span> <span m='36310'>actually</span> <span m='36620'>trying</span> <span m='36920'>to</span> <span m='37040'>figure</span> <span m='37390'>out</span> <span m='37540'>what</span> <span m='37780'>the</span> <span m='37910'>next</span> <span m='38260'>steps</span> <span m='38800'>are</span> <span m='39110'>for</span> <span m='39340'>research</span> <span m='40440'>and</span> <span m='40650'>prepare</span> <span m='42520'>for</span> <span m='42740'>work</span> <span m='43150'>with</span> <span m='43190'>NASA</span> <span m='43890'>or</span> <span m='44350'>the</span> <span m='44520'>National</span> <span m='44960'>Science</span> <span m='45420'>Foundation</span> <span m='46470'>trying</span> <span m='46780'>to</span> <span m='47170'>explain</span> <span m='47950'>why</span> <span m='48180'>I</span> <span m='48330'>want</span> <span m='48610'>to</span> <span m='48700'>do</span> <span m='48970'>this</span> <span m='49410'>and</span> <span m='49780'>why</span> <span m='50130'>it would</span> <span m='50350'>be a</span> <span m='50490'>good</span> <span m='50690'>project</span> <span m='51370'>to</span> <span m='51480'>work</span> <span m='51830'>on.</span> <span m='52450'>Then</span> <span m='52750'>I</span> <span m='52800'>also</span> <span m='53210'>work</span> <span m='53580'>a</span> <span m='53650'>lot</span> <span m='54520'>with</span> <span m='55180'>undergraduate</span> <span m='55930'>students</span> <span m='56880'>doing</span> <span m='57220'>design</span> <span m='57690'>projects</span> <span m='58340'>and</span> <span m='58490'>doing</span> <span m='58750'>engineering</span> <span m='59340'>design</span> <span m='59770'>competitions.</span> </p><p><span m='61280'>Well,</span> <span m='61440'>in</span> <span m='61540'>terms</span> <span m='61820'>of</span> <span m='61930'>education,</span> <span m='62720'>I</span> <span m='62780'>went</span> <span m='63050'>to</span> <span m='63720'>University</span> <span m='64230'>of</span> <span m='64310'>Florida</span> <span m='65040'>for</span> <span m='65930'>a</span> <span m='66420'>degree in</span> <span m='66660'>mechanical</span> <span m='67200'>engineering,</span> <span m='67830'>then</span> <span m='68140'>the</span> <span m='68500'>University</span> <span m='69240'>of</span> <span m='69370'>Michigan</span> <span m='70020'>for</span> <span m='70250'>a</span> <span m='70300'>master's</span> <span m='70830'>in</span> <span m='70880'>mechanical</span> <span m='71460'>engineering.</span> <span m='72400'>Then</span> <span m='72660'>I</span> <span m='72720'>went</span> <span m='73080'>to</span> <span m='73210'>work</span> <span m='73520'>for</span> <span m='73650'>Boeing</span> <span m='74130'>for</span> <span m='74380'>a</span> <span m='74420'>few</span> <span m='74710'>years,</span> <span m='76680'>doing</span> <span m='76970'>design</span> <span m='77480'>work</span> <span m='77790'>on</span> <span m='77970'>the</span> <span m='78280'>777.</span> <span m='79510'>And</span> <span m='79690'>then</span> <span m='80000'>after</span> <span m='80330'>a</span> <span m='80370'>few</span> <span m='80560'>years,</span> <span m='80870'>I</span> <span m='80900'>realized</span> <span m='81370'>I</span> <span m='81420'>wanted</span> <span m='81710'>to</span> <span m='81810'>get</span> <span m='82040'>much</span> <span m='82290'>more</span> <span m='82560'>into</span> <span m='83220'>the</span> <span m='83290'>higher</span> <span m='83830'>level</span> <span m='84250'>technical</span> <span m='84840'>analysis</span> <span m='86210'>and</span> <span m='86410'>didn't</span> <span m='86640'>want</span> <span m='86970'>to</span> <span m='87130'>be</span> <span m='87300'>using</span> <span m='88640'>equations</span> <span m='89410'>that</span> <span m='89600'>somebody</span> <span m='90000'>else</span> <span m='90230'>had</span> <span m='90350'>figured</span> <span m='90730'>out</span> <span m='90940'>to</span> <span m='91170'>design</span> <span m='91620'>stuff.</span> <span m='92410'>I</span> <span m='92560'>wanted</span> <span m='92880'>to</span> <span m='93070'>go</span> <span m='93330'>ahead</span> <span m='93600'>and</span> <span m='93710'>figure</span> <span m='94040'>out</span> <span m='94220'>what</span> <span m='94410'>the</span> <span m='94500'>really</span> <span m='94850'>basic</span> <span m='95450'>physics</span> <span m='95920'>were.</span> <span m='96290'>And</span> <span m='96700'>so</span> <span m='96840'>that's</span> <span m='97110'>why</span> <span m='97290'>I</span> <span m='97330'>went</span> <span m='97670'>on</span> <span m='97890'>for</span> <span m='98080'>a</span> <span m='98130'>PhD</span> <span m='98980'>in</span> <span m='99150'>aerospace</span> <span m='99770'>engineering.</span> </p><p><span m='100950'>And</span> <span m='101110'>then</span> <span m='101320'>after</span> <span m='101780'>that,</span> <span m='102100'>I</span> <span m='102180'>went</span> <span m='102580'>to</span> <span m='102820'>the</span> <span m='102980'>Naval</span> <span m='103330'>Research</span> <span m='103870'>Lab</span> <span m='104460'>for</span> <span m='104610'>a</span> <span m='104640'>few</span> <span m='104890'>years</span> <span m='105350'>to</span> <span m='105460'>do</span> <span m='105670'>research</span> <span m='106700'>on</span> <span m='106940'>chemical</span> <span m='107410'>and</span> <span m='107490'>biological</span> <span m='108250'>weapons</span> <span m='108770'>detection</span> <span m='109880'>and then</span> <span m='110150'>joined</span> <span m='110420'>the</span> <span m='110520'>faculty</span> <span m='110825'>at</span> <span m='111130'>LSU.</span> <span m='112520'>And</span> <span m='112670'>then,</span> <span m='113390'>in</span> <span m='113530'>addition</span> <span m='113950'>to</span> <span m='114020'>my</span> <span m='114150'>work</span> <span m='114440'>at</span> <span m='114520'>Louisiana</span> <span m='115080'>State</span> <span m='115360'>University,</span> <span m='116680'>about</span> <span m='116920'>half</span> <span m='117200'>the</span> <span m='117320'>time</span> <span m='117720'>I'm</span> <span m='117920'>out</span> <span m='118110'>for the</span> <span m='118280'>summer at</span> <span m='118560'>NASA's</span> <span m='119190'>Jet Propulsion</span> <span m='119765'>Laboratory</span> <span m='121220'>doing</span> <span m='121510'>work</span> <span m='121810'>on</span> <span m='121890'>the</span> <span m='121970'>research</span> <span m='122510'>projects</span> <span m='123100'>for</span> <span m='123220'>spacecraft</span> <span m='123820'>design.</span> </p><p><span m='124860'>What</span> <span m='125050'>I</span> <span m='125120'>wish</span> <span m='125350'>I</span> <span m='125410'>knew</span> <span m='125755'>when</span> <span m='126100'>I</span> <span m='126190'>was</span> <span m='126320'>younger</span> <span m='126690'>was</span> <span m='126920'>just</span> <span m='127180'>the</span> <span m='127290'>value</span> <span m='127950'>of</span> <span m='128110'>exploring</span> <span m='128979'>different</span> <span m='129470'>things</span> <span m='129889'>in</span> <span m='129990'>terms</span> <span m='130310'>of</span> <span m='130460'>career</span> <span m='130910'>paths.</span> <span m='131900'>I</span> <span m='132040'>wound</span> <span m='132440'>up</span> <span m='132790'>doing</span> <span m='133050'>something</span> <span m='133450'>I</span> <span m='133550'>love.</span> <span m='136520'>But</span> <span m='136710'>there</span> <span m='136810'>was</span> <span m='137000'>a</span> <span m='137020'>little</span> <span m='137290'>bit</span> <span m='137540'>of</span> <span m='138050'>oh,</span> <span m='138370'>do</span> <span m='138470'>I</span> <span m='138520'>want</span> <span m='138720'>to</span> <span m='138810'>do</span> <span m='138990'>this</span> <span m='139510'>or</span> <span m='139680'>do</span> <span m='139800'>I</span> <span m='139880'>want</span> <span m='140170'>to</span> <span m='140330'>do</span> <span m='140490'>that?</span> <span m='142246'>And</span> <span m='142720'>I</span> <span m='142850'>think</span> <span m='143040'>it's</span> <span m='143240'>good</span> <span m='143660'>to</span> <span m='143880'>really</span> <span m='144530'>carefully</span> <span m='145020'>look</span> <span m='145370'>at</span> <span m='145580'>a</span> <span m='145630'>bunch</span> <span m='145970'>of</span> <span m='146100'>options</span> <span m='147300'>and</span> <span m='147530'>go</span> <span m='147700'>ahead</span> <span m='147960'>and</span> <span m='148090'>do</span> <span m='148270'>something</span> <span m='148850'>and</span> <span m='148970'>be</span> <span m='149200'>willing</span> <span m='149600'>to</span> <span m='149740'>fail.</span> </p><p><span m='150290'>And</span> <span m='152260'>for</span> <span m='152410'>instance,</span> <span m='152870'>when</span> <span m='153010'>we</span> <span m='153130'>have</span> <span m='153270'>students</span> <span m='154040'>coming</span> <span m='154560'>as</span> <span m='154790'>undergraduate</span> <span m='155630'>research</span> <span m='156220'>students</span> <span m='157940'>and</span> <span m='158180'>they're</span> <span m='158350'>launching</span> <span m='158850'>into</span> <span m='159150'>the</span> <span m='159290'>research</span> <span m='159810'>projects,</span> <span m='160850'>what</span> <span m='161060'>I</span> <span m='161330'>tell</span> <span m='161640'>them</span> <span m='162005'>is</span> <span m='162530'>that</span> <span m='162820'>if</span> <span m='162960'>they</span> <span m='163100'>do</span> <span m='163390'>the</span> <span m='163510'>undergraduate</span> <span m='164200'>research</span> <span m='164690'>project</span> <span m='165740'>and</span> <span m='166040'>all</span> <span m='166370'>they</span> <span m='166620'>learn</span> <span m='167060'>by</span> <span m='167240'>doing</span> <span m='167540'>the</span> <span m='167640'>research</span> <span m='168430'>is</span> <span m='168580'>that</span> <span m='168750'>they</span> <span m='168870'>hate</span> <span m='169290'>doing</span> <span m='169580'>research,</span> <span m='170840'>the</span> <span m='170950'>experience</span> <span m='171740'>has</span> <span m='171920'>been</span> <span m='172140'>a</span> <span m='172200'>fantastic</span> <span m='173080'>success.</span> <span m='174190'>Because</span> <span m='174780'>they</span> <span m='174960'>have</span> <span m='175180'>learned</span> <span m='175770'>that</span> <span m='175980'>it's</span> <span m='176280'>something</span> <span m='176720'>that</span> <span m='177570'>they</span> <span m='177880'>don't</span> <span m='178170'>want</span> <span m='178420'>to</span> <span m='178510'>do.</span> <span m='179750'>And</span> <span m='179920'>they've</span> <span m='180130'>learned</span> <span m='180470'>it</span> <span m='180580'>before</span> <span m='181020'>they</span> <span m='181240'>put</span> <span m='181540'>the</span> <span m='181690'>time</span> <span m='182250'>in</span> <span m='182670'>to</span> <span m='182790'>get</span> <span m='183040'>the</span> <span m='183140'>PhD</span> <span m='184730'>in</span> <span m='184920'>engineering.</span> </p><p><span m='186070'>And I</span> <span m='186250'>tell</span> <span m='186620'>the</span> <span m='186740'>same</span> <span m='187180'>thing</span> <span m='187450'>to</span> <span m='187540'>my</span> <span m='187680'>graduate</span> <span m='188230'>students</span> <span m='188730'>when</span> <span m='188870'>they</span> <span m='188960'>go</span> <span m='189180'>do</span> <span m='189430'>internships</span> <span m='190190'>with</span> <span m='190320'>companies.</span> <span m='191530'>If</span> <span m='191650'>you</span> <span m='191740'>go</span> <span m='191930'>work</span> <span m='192200'>for a</span> <span m='192370'>company,</span> <span m='193370'>find</span> <span m='193620'>that</span> <span m='193740'>you</span> <span m='193820'>don't</span> <span m='194170'>like</span> <span m='194470'>doing</span> <span m='194750'>that</span> <span m='194990'>work,</span> <span m='195970'>that's</span> <span m='196220'>still</span> <span m='196500'>a</span> <span m='196580'>successful</span> <span m='197340'>internship.</span> <span m='198430'>Because</span> <span m='198800'>you've</span> <span m='199030'>really</span> <span m='199620'>come</span> <span m='199900'>one</span> <span m='200210'>step</span> <span m='200510'>closer</span> <span m='201140'>to</span> <span m='201250'>figuring</span> <span m='201770'>out</span> <span m='202430'>what</span> <span m='202690'>kind</span> <span m='202980'>of</span> <span m='203080'>work</span> <span m='203340'>you're</span> <span m='203530'>interested</span> <span m='203830'>in.</span> </p>","file":{"id":265615,"video_id":"2700869771001","name":"70734079","duration":205290,"thumbnail_url":null}});