Building a Space Robot and a Career at SAIC

By Joe Poist, Program Manager

I am part of a team that is helping NASA on a very cool mission: building a satellite/robot that will extend the mission lives of current satellites in orbit--even those that weren’t designed to be fixed in orbit--as well as demonstrate in-orbit assembly capabilities.

NASA continues to do things that will inspire generations to come, creating new technologies and exploring deep space. But it cannot hire every single person who wants to join its endeavors. This is where SAIC comes in: we provide an agile engineering workforce that performs seamlessly with its schedule. We give NASA the reach-back into key engineering disciplines, providing senior-level roles and junior engineers alike.

People want to join SAIC because we are the steward of people with the technical expertise, skills, and processes who support NASA in making its missions happen. We have talent who has worked with other space organizations, such as the U.S. Air Force and intelligence community, as well as with commercial ventures and more. This benefits NASA with diversity in ideas and experiences, and at the same time our team members build careers at SAIC by being able to serve many different space missions and customers.

SAIC is a matrix organization, enabling our space professionals to monitor technology advances across all space agencies and the space industry and to select those that best meet customers’ needs. We are actively engaged with customers to understand their future needs and continuing to make investments and explorations into next-generation technologies. This also means that we invest in our people through training and advancement to be able to maximize those technologies and manage our solutions.

RELATED ARTICLE: SAIC supports top college students in STEM through Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

 

Space professionals like me have lots of choices in where we work. The most attractive part of working at SAIC is the fact that we act ethically above all else. We are committed to doing what is right, even if it is harder and takes more time. This is true for all levels of our company.

I believe that my colleagues come to SAIC to work on NASA missions. But after spending time here, they realize that SAIC is highly committed to its employees, feel valued, and stay. In turn, our NASA colleagues see SAIC’s culture and what we bring to the team, so they seek us out when they need help building a space robot.

About the author: Before becoming the program manager of a NASA engineering contract, Joe Poist served as the Goddard Space Flight Center's chief of staff, which had the responsibility for more than 9,000 civilian employees and contractors along with four distinct NASA centers and facilities. Now, he is responsible for the operation of the Omnibus Multidiscipline Engineering Services (OMES) II contract, which includes approximately 500 engineers. Joe earned his bachelor's degree from Salisbury University.