Center Snapshot: Noah and Amber Favaregh
Image Above: Noah and Amber Favaregh have found meaningful connections between their work at NASA's Langley Research Center as aerospace engineers, and becoming owners of a yoga studio. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith
While attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Amber Favaregh took notice of a flier on the wall about an internship program in experimental methods in aerospace engineering. The flier included a photo of a NASCAR car being tested at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel (LFST), also known as the 30- by 60-Foot Tunnel, which resided on the East End of NASA’s Langley Research Center.
After NASA decommissioned the tunnel in 1995, ODU began operations the following year, providing engineering research facilities for graduate students and private customers in the field of aircraft and automotive transportation.
After applying and being accepted into the ODU internship program, Amber found herself in the massive interior of the LFST, a National Historic Landmark that was used to test virtually every high-performance aircraft used by the United States in World War II.
In walked Noah Favaregh, who was an undergraduate student at Old Dominion University and an intern at the FST. He took notice of Amber.
"I thought, 'Wow, she's a really good-looking engineer,' " Noah said.
Amber had taken notice of him, too, and after becoming friends, Noah asked Amber to travel with him to New York City for the weekend.
Two years later, in June 2005, they were married outdoors in Pagosa Springs, Col., during a ceremony that overlooked a valley of the San Juan Mountains.
Both completed their graduate studies at ODU and now, both work on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which will launch NASA's Orion spacecraft and other payloads beyond low Earth orbit, and provide an entirely new capability for human exploration.
At NASA Langley, Amber’s work as an aerospace engineer through ViGYAN, Inc., involves test support and data analysis for uncertainty in data quality. Working for Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. also as an aerospace engineer, Noah plans wind tunnel tests and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies and designs statistical methods for experiments to improve data quality.
When they aren't improving NASA data, they work on improving their well-being. Three years ago, Noah took his first yoga class with Amber and now, they are both certified instructors. They recently opened up a yoga studio in Hampton, called Tribal Yoga.
"Yoga was a natural fit for us," Amber said. "An engineer is a person who is seeking information and truth, the same is true for any yogi. You can't solve a problem without coming to a calm place."
Literal meanings of the Sanskrit word yoga are "to join," "to unite," or "to attach." Noah and Amber think of yoga as the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit. They currently offer Vinyasa Yoga, in which movement is synchronized to the breath. They have plans to offer restorative, which focuses on relaxing the body in restful postures, kid’s yoga, and family yoga.
Noah feels a meaningful connection to his NASA projects and coworkers.
"When I'm working with a team of NASA engineers it is apparent that we are all connecting to the greater purpose of the project," Noah said. "The same is true when meditating or doing Yoga. I am connecting to a place of greater purpose, of peace and stillness. Every moment is divine, whether I'm at work or on my mat."
In addition to bouncing ideas off of one another in conversation, Amber and Noah agree that many solutions come to them while they are still and quiet. In between those peaceful moments, new opportunities presented themselves.
The story that led them both to the tunnel at Langley began long before Amber saw a flier on the wall. Amber excelled at math and science and was encouraged by a teacher to pursue an engineering career. Noah had a technically minded father who influenced his interests in building things and finding out how they work.
Ultimately, they engineered their happily ever after.
By: Denise Lineberry
The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center
Editor & Curator: Denise Lineberry
Executive Editor & Responsible NASA Official: Rob Wyman