Q & A with Eliane
What first sparked your interest in science or engineering?
Women of SDO - Eliane Larduinat
Years ago my interest was in Civil engineering. Then I came to the United States and got a job at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a programmer. A few short months later I was running one of my computer programs on the first Landsat-D images in front of a group of eager scientists: I was hooked!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Without a doubt, the excitement of a spacecraft launch and the reward of a successful mission. I also love the very strong team spirit that we experience on a daily basis.
What advice would you give to students who would like to work on a project such as SDO?
You have to be committed to the mission and your team. Be prepared to face many challenges, delays, and setbacks that are often beyond your control. If you love the mission enough to persevere, the final results will be well worth it.
What do you do on an average day?
As a Ground Systems engineer I help with the design, implementation, and verification of hardware and software that is needed to monitor and control the spacecraft.
What are the greatest challenges of your job?
My greatest challenges are technical and operational. I have to ensure that the various elements such as mission operations control and the scientists that work on our missions can communicate effectively and perform their respective functions. I often have to be the ‘mediator’ between these two groups who can have very different views on how to solve problems.
What is your favorite hobby/activity outside of work?
I like to tap into my artistic side. I love music, painting, and crafts. I am also involved with a local non-profit ballet performing group, acting as their resident costume and stage designer and was president of the Board for several years.
System Engineer, SDO Ground System, HTSI
- Undergrad in Math/Physics, Toulouse, France
- Ingenieur Civil, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, Paris, France
- Master of Science, Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
- Master of Science, Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
I started as a Civil Engineer, doing highway design. After going back to school just to “brush up” on my programming, I ended up with a degree in computer science and was offered a position at GSFC doing image enhancement for the Landsat 4 Project scientist. I loved it and “a few” years later, I am still at GSFC.
I worked on several missions, including GRO, SOHO, and SDO. While on SOHO, I became the Science Operations Coordinator and met many of the solar scientists whom I was happy to meet again on SDO.
I started on SDO in 2003 on the Ground System and Operations team and went through the entire development cycle, launch, and commissioning. It was both a pleasure and a privilege to be part of the wonderful SDO team.
Since May 2010, I moved on to the MMS Ground System team. I am sure it will also be a great experience, but I miss my SDO friends.
What influenced your career choice?
Well, I accumulated several degrees before I found the work where I wanted to stay! This would seem to indicate that I did not really have a well-defined career plan before I started working at Goddard.
What did it? The beautiful campus architecture? The cafeteria gourmet menu? The dashing scientists and engineers? Or simply the challenge and excitement of scientific space projects and the conviction that is well worth my commitment…
Hobbies and Interests:
Travel, Arts, Classical music, Ballet