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LIVE FROM MARS: lfm

Tim Gallagher
Mars Pathfinder, Camera Control Electronics Designer
Lockheed Martin, Colorado

My Current Job

I'm now working on the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. This is a study program to develop a new family of cost-effective, highly responsive launch vehicles. We are involved in a competitive run-off for America's next generation of space launchers. The challenge for this program is to rapid-prototype and demonstrate system designs along with keeping costs to a minimum without sacrificing safety or system capability. My job is to lead the power controller hardware and software design.

How I Became an Engineer

In high school I wanted to be a veterinarian and even worked occasionally at an animal hospital next door to our house. However, by the time college arrived I didn't know what to do. Because of a low draft number (less than 100) on my 18th birthday in 1969, and the escalation in Vietnam, I joined the Air Force (my father had been in the Air Force during World War II). After a tour in Vietnam in the early 70s (working in a field hospital which was just like the TV show "M*A*S*H"), I wisely transferred to the Electronic Computer Repair field. The military provided excellent technical schooling both in electronics and computers and gave comprehensive on-the-job training. After spending some very productive and entertaining years in the Air Force, I joined Westinghouse (Baltimore) to finish my Electrical Engineering degree at University of Maryland (College Park). Over 11 years ago my family and I decided that Denver, Colorado was a great place to live. At that time Lockheed Martin (formally Martin Marietta) was hiring a lot of engineers and it didn't take long for me to get an offer and then accept it. Since then I have stayed put and finished a Masters in Engineering from University of Colorado (Boulder).

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