Samantha Dominguez is a systems engineer at the Boeing Company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her work on airplane radar and communication systems helps keep those on the front lines safe in the air. "Discovering You: Engineering Your World" is produced by NBC News Learn in partnership with Chevron, the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Science Foundation.
Discovering You – Engineering Your World – Samantha Dominguez
SAMANTHA DOMINGUEZ (Software Engineer):
My name is Samantha Dominguez and I am a software engineer with The Boeing Company. I grew up in El Paso, Texas. My mother emigrated from Mexico. She always wanted me to do a career that serviced people, that helped people. I always wanted to work public service and I always wanted to work close to the government, so that's kind of where the idea of the defense industry came into play.
The United States is the largest exporter of the defense aircraft and we provide services for our neighbors, our allies. The airplane, realizing how much responsibility goes into our economy, I wanted to be a part of that.
I work on the Airborne Early Warning and Control system. So it's sometimes referred to as a flying radar system. Usually most of the planes are a variant of the 737 and so I specifically help with the mission systems, the kind of the brains of the plane. Inside those planes you would have a complex radar system, communication system. The airplane is kind of like a flying radar system and we're able to detect enemies, detect friendlies, as well as being able to control the sky.
It looks like we’re going to be removing some of the parts in the iridium…
The team that I work on works directly with the customer developing code requirements.
We’re going to be working with the Australian government…
The way I think about is, hardware are the pieces and then the code is the communication. So how are these different hardware parts going to communicate with each other? My team has a lot of responsibility to make sure that these advanced technologies are the latest and greatest. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world and we do have enemies that are trying to cause serious harm. So the idea that we are equipping our customers with the latest and greatest technology is huge. I know that it's bringing home someone's father, someone's son, someone's daughter, someone's mother. And the idea that this system is what's protecting them from getting harmed and also to carry out the mission is a huge responsibility.
All right girls if we can go ahead and get started.
Now we’re going to do an activity that’s going to show closed circuits.
I really want to provide an inner strength to children. Challenge yourself to do something that you never would think. The road less traveled, right? So, why not try and do engineering. Do you see it vibrating? Yes, very good. It's not easy. You get knocked down a bunch of times, and if you really want to challenge yourself and discover a lot of inner strength, you'll find that in engineering. Very cool. Very cool.
Samantha Dominguez mentors girls in her community as they learn about engineering and make things such as electric circuits. In makerspaces around the world, children are using these skills every day. Learn more in this TIME for Kids story.
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