(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – It’s more than a day job for Daryoush Salehi – it’s a way to give back to his nation, and the men and women who defend it.

“This is my chance, my opportunity, to proudly serve my country and give them my expertise and my work in developing the latest technology for the Warfighter,” said Salehi, controls and electronics integration technology division chief at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center. “I’m building things so we can give the Warfighter the best tools possible to do their mission. “

It’s a role he’s proudly held since 2003. Born and raised in Huntsville, Salehi attended Auburn University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. While there, he became a co-op student for DEVCOM AvMC, passing up opportunities at other companies in favor of working for the Army because AvMC, “was doing stuff that I thought was really cool at the time.”

“A missile has to fly downrange and complete a mission. It can’t really do that without some method of guidance and control. The control portion comes from what I do – I provide some method of electromechanical, pneumatic, thrust vector control, pyrotechnic type of device to change the direction of the missile as it flies downrange,” Salehi said.

Some 18 years since joining AvMC, Salehi still enjoys the work.

“I work in an area with a lot of great people, some of the sharpest minds in missile technology and development, from design all the way to fly,” Salehi said. “The second thing about this job that’s so great is I get the chance to take a set of requirements, design a missile sub component, move into overseeing the fabrication of that item, assemble, test in the lab, integrate it into larger system, fly it downrange, and blow something up.

“You really can’t get much better than that. You get to witness your design transition from early concepts in the beginning, all the way to the point where the final design is landing on target on the test range.”

His advice to engineering students wanting to follow a similar path? Don’t pass up on that co-op or internship opportunity.

“It gave me this wealth of knowledge and practical experience,” Salehi said.

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The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.