Members of Cerro Coso’s Engineering Program toured NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena in early April. Five students from Bruce Nagy’s ENGR C230 Circuit Analysis class received a special tour focused on flight electronics for satellites that are designed to last for decades and survive the hazards of space. “It was great seeing scientists passionate about their work,” said student Jeff Reyes.
Cerro Coso engineering students spend most of their free time solving problems so when they eventually get to work at places like JPL or NAWCWD, they are able to solve the “real” problems, taking next steps toward advancing state-of-the-art technology using techniques, ingenuity, and insights gained and honed in classroom and hands-on labs. “By far, one of the best presentations of any scientific background that I ever had,” said student Jacob Brannon.
At JPL, engineering students got a taste of the “real” challenges those engineers face involving space flight and data collection of our solar system. “What we study is no longer imaginary, but a reality at JPL!” said Rochelle Caravalho. The tour lasted over eight hours; it was rainy, cold and thrilling!
The goal at Cerro Coso for our engineering students is not just to provide a solid education but give a taste of experience that is in alignment with today’s technology challenges. JPL’s special, customized, tour provided some real examples of how education and experience need to meet. “JPL scientists are awesome… I recommend this experience to other students,” said Sophoandara Ry.
During the tour, summer internship possibilities were discussed, giving CCCC students a reality that one day they could be designing the next spacecraft to Mars – and beyond.