How Danny’s Mentor Partnership Launched his Career at Northrop Grumman

Tell us about your path to Northrop Grumman. How did you get hired here?

As a college junior in 2017, I applied for the mentoring program at DisabilityIN, a nonprofit that helps disabled college students. After acceptance, I was paired with my mentor, Bob Vetere, a now-retired former manager. Through him, I got a summer internship at the Northrop Grumman Advanced Technology Laboratory (ATL). During that summer, I was part of some awesome projects like analyzing environmental effects on substrate performance and helping to build a new ATL inventory system. I got such a good feeling of inclusiveness from my coworkers that joining Northrop Grumman after college became my goal. Luckily, I received a job offer in my senior year.

man smiling while sitting on couch

What do you do here?

My title is Manufacturing Engineer and I work in the Advanced MicroElectronic Center (AMEC). We build microelectronics for our various radar programs. I think of what I do as a jack-of-all-trades within manufacturing and specifically the Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) program. In addition to that, I get to use my coding and data analytics skills to create a clearer understanding of our process data.

My usual work is to help wherever the SABR program needs me on the factory floor. I’ve cleared problematic units and organized testing for packaging changes as well as lead new cost savings initiatives. The biggest issues I’m involved with are Root Cause Analysis (RCA) when there is an issue in the manufacturing line. RCAs take a lot of time and involve many stakeholders, like machine operators, external vendors, and other various internal company units.

Lately, I’ve been developing an application to visualize machine data. The ultimate goal is to use the application for automation. I am working with the process engineers and showing them the data to determine the process limits. I really enjoy creating something and making heads or tails of data, which has never been looked at.

How is working at Northrop Grumman “personal” or “purposeful” to you?

One of my personal interests that helped a surprising amount is my love for fantasy football. During college, my friends and I were in a very competitive fantasy league. We would make Excel spreadsheets mapping all the points that players scored in previous years with the hope of predicting how they would perform in the current year. We would also try to understand the relationship between players and how one player (QB) would affect another’s output (WR). This relates really well to data analysis and helped me be comfortable when trying to make sense of large spreadsheets of numbers.

Working at Northrop Grumman is purposeful to me because Northrop Northrop Grumman values quality and works to create the best product possible. That resonates with me and fits well with my personal goal to always try to be better. It constantly motivates me to find a better way to do something, be that less time intensive or less expensive, there’s constant room for improvement and growth.

How do science, technology and engineering intersect at Northrop Grumman?

Being in AMEC, I have the opportunity to walk through the factory floor where we make delicate parts of different microelectronics. Seeing all the technology and science involved in the many machines we have definitely leaves me with a feeling of wonder. A good intersection of science, technology, and engineering that I’ve had the privilege to work on is my recent project of data visualization applications for automation. The ability to understand this raw data and determine what it all means exemplifies the progress we’re making in the science. Creating the technology so that a machine recognizes when it is behaving incorrectly and then engineering the machine how to recognize that error and self-correct really is awesome to see.

Solving for what’s never been done, exploring the limits of possible. Is that real and true for you in your time at Northrop Grumman?

Definitely true. In my career, I’ve had many opportunities to work on something that I didn’t think was possible. From working on processes on new substrate components that improve yield to data analysis work that automates an entire manufacturing line, I constantly get to work on the cutting edge of science here at Northrop Grumman. To me, that keeps the work exciting. It may be challenging, but the feeling of being the first to solve a problem is worth it.

Northrop Grumman manufacturing engineers are Defining Possible every day. Click to see manufacturing engineering job openings and apply today.

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