Educator Features

National Engineers Week - February 22-28, 2004
To celebrate National Engineers Week, take a few moments and meet a NASA engineer in this interview with Mr. Ruben Ramos.

Aerospace Engineer Ruben Ramos
Ruben Ramos
What I do:

I design Communications Systems for space projects. A communications system picks up the signals from space that carry pictures and information about planets. I am also on the Management Team for Life Sciences Projects and Research, so I perform management work as well as scientific work. It's my job to make sure that the technical and the scientific aspects of projects work well together.

Areas of expertise:

  • Design of space communications systems for space projects
How I first became interested in this profession:

When I was in grammar school in the sixties, working in space was a big attraction, and the idea of humans going out of the atmosphere intrigued me. This led to my childhood dream of working in a space related profession.

What helped prepare me for this job:

Math and science have been the most important subjects for my job, so all the math and science classes I took in high school were very useful.

My role models or inspirations:

I've always been driven to better myself and my family. I also have role models like Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, who through their intellect and perseverance helped to bring about dramatic scientific breakthroughs that changed the world.

My education and training:

  • M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of Texas, El Paso
My career path:

  • Ten years as a Communications Systems Engineer for the Pioneer Project at Ames
  • Six years as a Science Instruments Manager for the Space Infared Telescope Facility at NASA Ames
  • Two years as a Science Payload Manager and Communications Systems Engineer on the Mars Environmental Survey Project at Ames
  • Four years as a Manager for the contractors' work on all Life Sciences Projects and Research at NASA Ames
What I like about my job:

I like knowing that we, at NASA, are doing some things which have never been done before, and which have the potential to benefit humanity.

What I don't like about my job:

Sometimes the funding for projects gets cut, and it takes a lot of time to reorganize.

My advice to anyone interested in this occupation:

Convince yourself that you can be whatever you want to be, and prepare yourself well by taking as much math and science in school as you can. If you work and study hard, you can do it!

Published by NASA Quest