What is your position or role in the DESI project?
I am a Senior Engineer and a part of the Engineering Services group for NOIRLab at Kitt Peak National Observatory. We take projects from inception, through the design phase, all the way to implementation. This was a major part of preparing the Mayall 4 Meter telescope for the DESI Instrument and Survey.
Where were you born? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Currently I live in Tucson, Arizona.
What do you do as part of DESI?
For the last couple of years, I was one of the leading members with installing and implementing a complete transformation of the Focal Plane. This included removing the original top ring, assembling the new top ring, installing it on the telescope and implementing all the necessary components associated with the DESI instrument. Moving forward we will maintain the instrument and the telescope to keep science being produced at its peak with this instrument.
What is the most interesting or exciting thing about your job?
The most exciting thing about my job is the fact that we are always doing something different. Because this telescope is out of the 60’s, most of the components are one off pieces. We are constantly having to retrofit new technologies for anything that has failed. Plus, you cannot beat the office views, being on the highest peak in the area.
Any advice for an aspiring scientist/engineer?
My biggest advice for any aspiring scientist or engineer, don’t be afraid to ask questions, immerse yourself and get stuck. I learned the most from going all in and taking on projects that truly take you out of your comfort zone. Often, you can be afraid to take something on thinking “I have no idea how to do this”, but you will surprise yourself.
What do you do for fun?
I absolutely love winter sports, the snow, and snow skiing. It’s truly when I am in my element! I spend a lot of my winters skiing, and I spend a lot of my summers traveling, camping and exploring trails!