Welcome to the STEM Career Highlight Series, which is a Q&A series showcasing the people of Hughes and the STEM path they took to jumpstart their careers and get to where they are today. Through sharing these experiences, we hope to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders and instill in them the same enthusiasm and passion our employees have for what they do.
This week, we’re talking to Tyler, a principal engineer at Hughes.
What’s the easiest way to describe what you do as an engineer? I am a digital board designer within the gateway hardware group, which means I work on the modems (hardware) that go into different hubs in ground systems around the country.
Where did you go to college and what did you major in? I went to Penn State where I majored in electrical engineering. I started working at Hughes right after graduation.
Who inspired you to pursue STEM career? My dad. He was a machinist. I was always the kid who would take things apart to fix them.
What project has been your favorite to work on at Hughes? My latest project, the next generation gateway modem hardware for our upcoming JUPITER™ 3 satellite, is my current favorite. That’s because it’s the most challenging and technologically advanced project we’ve tackled as a group using the latest technologies and practices and high-speed board designs. At the end of the day, JUPITER 3 will be able to provide faster internet service for more users. It’s exciting to be a part of something that will have such a positive impact on so many people.
What is your favorite part about being an engineer? Engineering and understanding how different things work are mysteries that require critical and creative thinking to solve. For me, personally, there is no greater reward than figuring out what that problem was and developing a final product that solves for a challenge, while providing the simplest solution that is extremely reliable and user friendly.
Where do you see the satellite industry going in the next five years? I envision a mix of technologies working together. Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will certainly play a role and help complement the technologies we are already using such as with the Hughes geostationary satellite platform. Technology will be more integrated, with the end result being better global reach and service for everybody.
Any words of advice? Try to learn as much as you can from each person you interact with and find a focus area you love that motivates you. Engineering is very much learning by doing. At Hughes, I’ve been fortunate to have the luxury of trying different kinds of engineering to find what was right for me.