Andrea Adams knew she wanted to work in the space industry in high school. After graduating from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Astrophysics, Andrea was quick to settle on a master’s program in Aerospace Engineering at CU Boulder, which brought her back to her home state of Colorado. “CU Boulder offered the types of classes that I wanted, specifically in human space flight. That was what I was really interested in. I actually managed to graduate in 1.5 years, so a little early because I got to go my own pace and choose my own path,” explained Andrea.
With a master’s degree in hand, Andrea landed her first job with Goodrich Space Systems in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “[Goodrich] built spacecraft electronics: power modules, telemetry modules, solar array regulators, etc. I was a brand new mechanical engineer. I learned a ton and met a lot of amazing people.” However, after five years, Andrea began to feel homesick for Colorado. “My whole family was here. I always said that if [Goodrich] had been in Colorado, I would never have left. Although, Goodrich was eventually was bought by a larger company and then closed down, so in the end it all worked out.”
Andrea moved back to Colorado and took a job with Custom Microwave (CMI). “I transitioned to a smaller company, about 30 people and most were machinist. I was actually the only mechanical engineer there for a while. I got to see a completely different side of the aerospace industry – the smaller companies that support the larger ones,” said Andrea. “Custom Microwave builds RF antenna components, fully metallic but susceptible to vibration and thermal effects.” By the time Andrea was leaving, CMI had grown to six mechanical engineers and two vibration engineers. “I got to act as a manager, hiring people and expanding the group, which was an incredible learning experience.”
However, as time went on Andrea felt she needed a change. “I remembered how much I enjoyed working on spacecraft electronics at Goodrich so I decided it was time to try and find that again. I knew SEAKR was very similar so I went on the website and sent my resume in. It was exactly what I was looking for,” said Andrea. “I was initially hired [in February] to help out with a couple of projects that were getting busier than anyone thought they were going to. My background in spacecraft electronics allowed me to step in at a higher level and help out right away. Recently, I have also taken on working with software, analyzing and implementing new software for the mechanical engineering group.”
When asked what her favorite thing about SEAKR is, Andrea replied without hesitation, “the people. I love how people oriented everyone is and how relaxing it is here. You come in, work with awesome people, get your job done and at the same time [SEAKR] provides all these fantastic benefits from picnics, the Christmas party, burritos in the break room, and so on.”
In addition to all of Andrea’s current accomplishments, she was also planning her wedding, which occurred on Saturday, October 14, 2017. “I thought it was going to be more stressful planning a wedding but SEAKR is such a relaxed place to work that it made it much easier,” Andrea remarked. How many of you are wondering if it’s just Andrea who makes things look easy? Graduating early, taking on extra responsibilities and planning a wedding, Andrea is shining example that you can have it all.