REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (June 21, 2022) – For Dr. Jay Moorthy, aerospace engineering was fascinating enough to warrant a move across the world.
Moorthy, an aviation teaming subject matter expert for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, had already obtained an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering in India. But what she really wanted to do was work in aerospace engineering, so she moved to the United States to pursue graduate studies in that field. For the past 18 years she has put that knowledge to work for the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, first as a project engineer and then for the past two years as a subject matter expert.
Moorthy recently returned from the Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. While there, Moorthy was recognized for her work in aviation teaming with a Director’s Coin from DEVCOM AvMC Director Jeff Langhout. While the recognition of complicated work that does not always have obvious successes and failures was rewarding, for Moorthy, the coin represented the achievements of her entire team, many of whom were new to that type of testing environment.
“We have a lot of new, young employees fresh out of school,” Moorthy said. “They are go-getters, doing such a good job in stressful circumstances. And I feel like their work and its success is being highlighted at events like EDGE.”
Moorthy puts a priority on shepherding those young engineers who are the future of research and development because she doesn’t want the Army to lose the next generation of talent to other opportunities. She draws on her own decades of experience and the abilities to which she owes her success.
“The skills that I have found are useful and relevant apply to any career position, and that is to just be diligent,” Moorthy shared. “Be responsive and organize your tasks. If you get a question in an email, don’t let it go down into that black hole. Respond to it. If you don’t know an answer, still respond to it.
“The other skill that I think is important in our discipline is communication, both written and verbal. You are often talking to people who are not in your discipline and it is difficult to explain what you are doing to someone who is not familiar with your jargon. Be precise in what you mean and convey. Loose words create confusion; we live with that every day.”
Moorthy said that she has also developed an aptitude through her career to never stop learning.
“I am a voracious reader – tech magazines, journals, articles, whatever I can get my hands on that touches my discipline. And to me, that helps define the state of our market and therefore how we shape new technology development. We can get trapped in our own little isolated bubble doing our own work, but there is so much happening outside and you have to keep up.”
For Moorthy, exercises like EDGE provide an opportunity for scientists to place a higher priority on integration earlier in the development process. It is a new way of working, but one that has its benefits, she said.
“Instead of developing your technology in your sandbox, you might slow down a bit but you make sure it plugs into the larger enterprise. For me, that is the bottom line.”
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.