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Julie Pollitt, NASA Mechanical Engineer

Picture:  Julie Pollitt

Question 1: Who are you and what do you do?

My name's Julie Pollitt and I'm a mechanical engineer working for NASA Ames Research Center. I work in the wind tunnels helping researchers design and build their test apparatus.

Question 2: How did you get interested in aeronautics?

My grandfather got me interested in aeronautics. When I was a child, my grandfather would take me and my brothers and sisters almost weekly down to the local airport and point out what all the different airplanes were. As well as he would sit us down in front of the TV every time something from NASA would go up.

Question 3: Is learning math important for a career in aeronautics?

Learning math is very important if you want to have a career in aeronautics especially if you're in engineering positions such as I am. Most of engineering is math.

Question 4: Would you encourage young people to pursue careers in aeronautics?

Yes, I would definitely encourage young people to attempt careers in aeronautics. I have never had so much fun in my life as I have in my job.

Question 5: Would you encourage young people to pursue careers in math?

Yes, I would encourage young kids to follow careers in math. Math provides the basis for most technical careers including aeronautics.

Question 6: What challenges have you dealt with in your career?

The biggest challenge I've dealt with in my career to do with my disability has been other people telling me what I couldn't do, and me having to prove them wrong.

Picture:  Julie Pollitt

Question 7: Is there anything you would like to say to children who are considering careers in math and aeronautics?

Yes, what I'd like to say to children who are considering careers in math and aeronautics is: Dream what you're going to dream and don't let anybody else tell you that you can't get to where you want to get to.

Question 8: What's easy or hard about your job?

Let's start with (what's) hard about the job. Some people want to cause you more trouble than trying to help you get the job done. And, what's easy is actually the technical. Dealing with the math and science and learning all the new things day in and day out.

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