Transcripts of Deborah Amato_youtube_hq

My name is Deborah Amato. I am the Deputy Chief Technologist, and my primary responsibility is managing are internal research and development program. (Music) I think I first wanted to work at NASA, when I was a child. I was interested in, the space program, the NASA program, and the Space Shuttle Program specifically. I thought that maybe I'd be an astronaut one day. I was also interested in astronomy and stargazing, and so, that interest just grew and I ultimately ended up at NASA, working on space projects. On my first day at NASA, I was a summer intern. I found out about an opportunity to be able to come and work as a summer intern here, and I was so excited, and thrilled to be here. And it was a lot of information to take in, and I met lots of new people, and it really was just a thrill to be here at NASA. And then after I was a summer intern, I was able to get into the co-op program. And when I entered the co-op program and was working here, it was sort of my first experience of feeling like I was an adult. Like okay, this is real, and this is what engineering is like. When I first came to NASA, I was working as an engineer with a scientist mentor, and he was able to show me the various projects that he was working on. And the first project that I worked on was called HESPM, High Energy Solar Physics Mission. And it eventually turned into an actual mission, that I was able to work on about 10 years later. So, it was really interesting to be able to see that, sort of at the beginning stages of the concept formation and then, work on it when we're actually building hardware and launching a satellite. One of the biggest influences on my life was my grandmother. And she was a teacher, for all of the years that I knew here she was a teacher. Because of that and because of her beliefs, she set for me the idea that education is very important, and my family too. Education was very important in my family. And I believe that education is important for building on your skills and preparing for whatever career that you might pursue in the future. She was a very special lady and very influential, and also my parents of course, my mother and father were influential and certainly on my choice of career. My father is an electrical engineer, and my mother is a chemist. And we always teased that I would grow up to be a chemical engineer. And it sort of worked out that way, in that I ended up pursuing aerospace space engineering. The happiest moment of my career being able to see a project that I've worked on being launched. And I think that, that is all of the work, all of the preparation and work goes into that one moment and everyone is so thrilled when things are successful. What I'm most proud of is for my career at NASA so far, having something that I touched and worked on orbit the Earth. One of my favorite projects that I worked on is named TRACE, The Transition Region and Coronal Explorer. It's a small spacecraft that's studied the sun, and I was able to hold the primary mirror of the telescope while the mirror mount was being installed. And I did a variety of other things for that instrument, but that was really an excellent team, wonderful project and very exciting when it launched, and when we go the first pictures back. One thing that I would say for young women who are preparing to enter the work force and, or preparing to pursue and educational path for their future, just go for it, and definitely work hard, and prepare yourself. Don't be afraid of the stereotypes or the things that you might hear, or cautions that you might have like "engineering is not for you," "there's only men pursuing engineering," or other things that you might assume about particular, a particular, profession that you would choose. I have always in my experience; I have always had a very easy time in this profession, and working for NASA. So although there are more men in engineering, and more men that I work with then women, that hasn't been a problem, and it hasn't been a set back for me in my career. (music) (music)