DRS Defense Solutions MADE IN MARYLAND, REACHING THE WORLD
Land That Job
Interviewing tips that work
In Good Company
The People of DRS Defense Solutions
DRS Defense Solutions proudly supports Operation Homefront
We owe a tremendous debt to the thousands of Maryland men and women who risk their lives for our security.
Taking care of the families they leave behind is one small way of repaying them. Operation Homefront DC Metro Chapter provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of wounded warriors and deployed troops throughout Maryland, DC and northern Virginia. Contact us today to learn how your volunteer and financial support can help. www.operationhomefront.net/dcmetro toll free 800/779-5903
You’ll also find interviewing tips from our Director of Talent Acquisition Monique d’Almeida. If you’re planning the next step in your career, Monique offers practical insights on how to stand out during the application and interview process. Although our company offers careers in a multitude of fields, almost all require an understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math. With much of our work rooted in military electronics, we know firsthand the need for electrical, RF, microwave, and digital engineers. As we pause this month to honor the
Dear Reader In the following pages, we are proud to highlight “The World of DRS Defense Solutions.” While our name says “Defense Solutions,” our work goes far beyond the defense arena—and although we are headquartered in Maryland, our employees can be found around the globe. We pride ourselves on hiring employees who are the best at what they do; in these pages, you’ll read about some of their unique and exciting contributions to our mission. For example, Rhonda Lyons of our Technical Services line of business shares her experiences as a deployment specialist, a role in which she helps employees transition to life in Iraq and Afghanistan. Engineer Angela Schmidt, an employee of our Signal Solutions business in Gaithersburg, shares her work on signals intelligence equipment. Elsewhere, software engineer Piotr Bandyk relays his Stevensville organization’s leading work in naval architecture.
sacrifices of our military veterans, I wish to note that appreciation of service to our country is at the core of DRS Defense Solutions’ culture. Veterans constitute a significant percentage of our workforce and we are proud to offer them an opportunity to continue their service through work on important programs that directly support the defenders of our freedoms. At DRS Defense Solutions, we are committed to creating opportunities for today’s scientists and engineers, as well as the next generation of innovators. Regardless of where you are in your career—student, transitioning service member or experienced professional—I invite you to visit our Careers page at www.drs-ds.com/Careers to learn more about what we have to offer. Technology and innovation will lead our country’s growth in the 21st century—join us to help make that possible!
Richard S. Danforth President and CEO DRS Defense Solutions Bethesda, Maryland
DRS Defense Solutions | Maryland Life 3
DRS Defense Solutions Made in Maryland, Reaching the World
Five blocks from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, employees at the corporate headquarters of DRS Defense Solutions are hard at work each day helping to preserve U.S. national security interests at home and abroad. A proud member of Maryland’s vibrant defense industry, DRS Defense Solutions supports our military in a broad range of ways: by providing intelligence, communications, and sensor technologies; by maintaining critical satellite communications networks in theater; by offering security systems for government facilities and sonar equipment for naval vessels; and by providing avionics technologies, as well as unmanned vehicles and more. Although DRS Defense Solutions’ 3,700 employees can be found around the globe, the company turned to Maryland for its corporate headquarters because of its proximity to the hub of the U.S. defense industry. “Our people and our products play an important behind-the-scenes role in enhancing the mission-readiness of troops,” says Richard S. Danforth, president and CEO of DRS Defense DRS Signal Solutions Vice President of Sales and Marketing Debi Luce.
Solutions. “Our strong work ethic stems, in part, from the strong connection to our products. We know who uses them; we have a higher sense of purpose and keen understanding that, for our troops, what we do is more than just a job.” At six locations around Maryland, 395 employees are part of this bright, dedicated team working with members of every branch of the American military and allies to develop defense and security solutions and services. For example, at DRS Signal Solutions in
Made in Maryland, the DRS Defense Solutions Eagle Xpress Recorder is designed to capture high bandwidth SIGINT signals as well as high-performance radar, satellite, telemetry, instrumentation and image data.
Gaithersburg, a staff of more than 250 develops signal intelligence (SIGINT) equipment, hardware and software to collect radio signals that are then used to develop actionable intelligence.
“Signal Solutions makes very high-
Breacher Vehicle (ABV).
performance products that are widely
And DRS Defense Solutions staff members
recognized as best in class,” explains Debi Luce,
are adapting technology and integrating
vice president of sales and marketing.
systems to cost-effectively improve existing
“We have this huge body of knowledge from
products, like those that enable helicopter
employees who have been in the business
pilots to “see” targets miles away and engage
a long time. They work well with the junior
without detection. Elsewhere, communication
business and engineering employees, so we
satellite experts ensure global connectivity.
keep ratcheting up our products and services.”
Because of the time sensitivities and mission-
Around Maryland, DRS Defense Solutions
critical tasks associated with projects,
employees, many of whom are veterans,
DRS Defense Solutions maintains close
develop rugged, reliable, and innovative
relationships with customers.
products—like sensors for airborne and ground
“We make a point of understanding what
applications—that assist troops in the field, at
is needed now and in the future. We work
sea, and in the air. Engineers are expanding the
together to solve these issues and to create
capacity of defense and aerospace equipment,
new capabilities,” says Senior Vice President
such as direction-finding software-definable
of Business Development Gary Smith. “We are
radios for combat vehicles and the Integrated
known for our ability to listen, to be agile, and
Vision Systems (IVS) for the U.S. Army Assault
to quickly help solve problems.” DRS Defense Solutions | Maryland Life 5
At DRS Defense Solutions, a culture of giving back
Sometimes, corporate culture can be hard to grasp or define. But at Maryland’s DRS Defense Solutions, corporate culture boils down to one element: gratitude to those who defend our freedoms. Over the years, the company’s 3,700 employees have contributed thousands of dollars and hundreds of service hours to causes that support their ultimate customer— members of the U.S. military. “Our culture of giving back is our way of giving thanks year-round to those who serve,” says company President and CEO Richard S. Danforth. “They are, after all, our ultimate customers.” While not every employee is a veteran or retired service member, employees generously contribute because they feel Bethesda is home to the DRS Defense Solutions headquarters.
a strong connection with the men and women who serve. For example, employees of DRS Defense Solutions and its parent company contributed more than $1 million to support the building of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda. The 72,000-square-foot, two-story facility located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda is dedicated to the research, diagnosis, and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and/or psychological health issues. The DC Metro chapter of Operation
This summer, DRS Defense Solutions was a proud sponsor of the U.S. Army Concert Tour’s stop at Aberdeen Proving Ground. From left to right, employees Chuck Tuori, Monique d’Almeida, Gene Carter and Kelly Baer represented the company at the show, which featured the music of Lynryrd Skynyrd and The Doobie Brothers.
Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial and other types of support to veterans, was founded by Gene Carter, a program director for the company’s Technical Services line of business. DRS Defense Solutions recently partnered with Operation Homefront to help fund a free call day for deployed U.S. troops for the coming Thanksgiving weekend.
Over the years, DRS Defense Solutions employees have also supported: • The DRS Guardian Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to the children of National Guardsmen killed during service to their country. • The Fisher House Foundation, which operates homes on the grounds of major military installations providing food and a comfortable place to stay, free of charge, to America’s active and retired military and their families during medical crises. • Operation Mend, a partnership between Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas that ensures extensive (and expensive) care to the most severely disfigured wounded military personnel. • Free call days through the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW) Operation Uplink Program, which allows deployed service members to call home for free. • The annual Army Ten-Miler in Washington, D.C. • Pets for Patriots (see page 7).
A Proud Partnership
DRS Defense Solutions and Pets for Patriots
When Audrey Monish returned from her last overseas tour in the U.S. Navy, she brought home more than her military bags. Monish returned with a rescue dog. Now a vice president of government relations for DRS Defense Solutions, she has found a new way to help link homeless pooches with veterans—she volunteers with Pets for Patriots, a national nonprofit that works closely with returning veterans and local community animal shelters. The organization is one of very few dedicated to two specific groups: hard-to-adopt pets and military members and families. “This organization helps returning patriots find forever companions by making pet adoption and ownership achievable and affordable,” explains Monish. “Many suffer varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder and are coping with feelings of isolation, depression, anger, or anxiety. One way they may begin coping is through the humananimal bond.” Although a number of worthy organizations serve homeless animals and service members, Pets for Patriots stands out in a few key ways. The charity focuses on animals with the least adoption potential and greatest risk of euthanasia; additionally, it assists both active and retired members of the United States military, believing that deployable service members deserve the love of a companion pet, too. Pets for Patriots also prioritizes surrender prevention by offering access to discounted veterinary care and annual contributions toward the purchase of pet food and other basics.
Edith (shown at a recent event with Audrey Monish, vice president of government relations for DRS Defense Solutions) was adopted by a family in the Washington, D.C. area.
Both DRS Defense Solutions and its affiliated companies actively support Pets for Patriots. “DRS’ generous support has helped more than a dozen members of our program feed their honorably adopted pets,” says Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots. “Our focus on reducing the costs associated with pet ownership helps us ensure that, once adopted, our veterans don’t have to give up their new pet friends due to short-term financial hardship. This is particularly vital in the current economy, when so many people are hurting and living paycheck to paycheck.” The organization works with not-for-profit shelters, humane societies and rescues, tax-exempt
municipal shelters, and animal controls, as well as with chapters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Through their work to help larger, older animals find homes, staff members at Pets for Patriots have found that many veterans relate to the idea of rescuing a last-chance pet. “I will continue to work with this charity because I feel it is important to recognize and address the needs of our dedicated returning patriots while continuing my longtime volunteer efforts for rescue dogs,” says Monish. The Washington Humane Society and Pets for Patriots have many wonderful potential candidates for adoption. For more information, visit www.petsforpatriots.org. DRS Defense Solutions | Maryland Life 7
DRS Defense Solutions “Goes Pink” While focused on providing support to the military, employees of DRS Defense Solutions also support a number of more personal causes. Local charities like Bethesda Cares, a local outreach program for the homeless, and The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda have benefitted from the company’s fundraising efforts as well as more national causes, such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
1 1 More than 300 employees at DRS Training & Control Systems (TCS) in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, wore pink to raise funds for breast cancer research. 2 Staff members at the Dulles, Virginia, office of DRS Technical Services prove that real men wear pink. 3 Employees at the DRS ICAS headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, proudly wear pink in support of breast cancer research. 4 The DRS Defense Solutions corporate headquarters in Bethesda was awash in pink.
This October, DRS Defense Solutions employees across the country wore pink to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. For every employee who wore one pink clothing item, DRS Defense Solutions donated $1
to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. “Breast cancer is the seconddeadliest cancer among American women, and many among us have been personally affected by this disease,” said Director of Talent Acquisition Monique d’Almeida, who helped organize the company-wide
event. “Given that, we felt it was important to recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month while offering all employees the opportunity to be involved. As you can see from these photos, the response was overwhelming.”
How to Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market A Q&A with DRS Defense Solutions’ Monique d’Almeida Maryland Life caught up with Director of Talent Acquisition Monique d’Almeida to get the scoop on what it takes to land a job with DRS Defense Solutions.
» You love working at DRS Defense
Solutions. Why? This is much more than a job. The work we do is important; we see it every day. We find the best of the best to help those who serve and protect our country. Men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have come into our offices to tell us that DRS Defense Solutions’ products are excellent and to thank us because lives have been saved through the use of our products.
» Why is DRS Defense Solutions a different
kind of employer? We are unusual in our industry because we have this open, sharing environment. Junior staff members work really well with seniorlevel employees who have vast technical and military knowledge and expertise. You can do anything you want to do. If you have an idea that will improve processes and make things more efficient, even if it’s outside of your area, we are willing to listen. We also believe in promotion from within and giving new graduates an opportunity.
would you describe DRS Defense » How Solutions’ culture?
Passionate, patriotic, and fun. We have this incredible culture of giving back to our ultimate customer. Every job here is important—accounting, project management, engineering—and everyone keeps the military men and women using our products and services [in the front of our minds]. There are many company-wide campaigns to help raise funds or encourage volunteerism for wounded warriors and for military-related organizations, but there is also a lot of informal help that happens in every office. The people are amazing. It’s no wonder I spend so much time out of the office with people from the office.
you hiring? » Are Military electronics is our specialty, so we are always looking for electrical, RF, microwave, and digital engineers. There is also a need for program managers, business development staff, electronic technicians, and IT staff, particularly those trained in Oracle software.
» What advice can you offer to job seekers?
Pay attention to networking socially, as well as professionally. If you are interested in a certain company, look at their website and keep an eye on what they are doing. Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but use them appropriately. Remember, the idea is to search, to keep in contact, and to help you develop relationships.
» How can you best prepare for an
interview? Do your homework before you arrive. Review the website and current news articles. Be prepared to ask questions. Ask about the structure of your interview, including with whom you are meeting. Dress appropriately. What you choose to wear is very telling. [And] don’t be late! We are located just outside of Washington, D.C. There is traffic, and if you are unfamiliar with this area, it’s easy to get lost.
» What impresses you during an interview?
Well-prepared candidates who have done their research. These are the go-getters who arrive with questions prepared. They show us that they are interested in this company and a particular position. They are also willing to take notes during the interview, realizing that they are not going to remember everything. What do you suggest for new college grads? Make sure you are interning or volunteering.
Stop lifeguarding at the pool if you want to be an engineer. [We also look at] where you have interned [and for] a high GPA and awards you have won as an individual or part of a team.
» Do you have an internship program?
Our company firmly believes that science and technology will be the source of our nation’s future strength and prosperity. As part of that commitment to the next generation of innovators, DRS Defense Solutions offers a number of internships for aspiring engineers. Our internship program varies throughout the company depending on the work of our business units. However, we strive to make interns feel valued across the board and want to convert grads into hires. This is not a puff program. Interns really work on products— they are not in a back room cataloging stuff.
» How can someone check out
opportunities at DRS Defense Solutions? Review our website and become familiar with our products and services. Then go to www. drs-ds.com/Careers. We allow you to work smarter, not harder. You can search for jobs and even select criteria for a certain job and receive an email notice when it is posted. We also feature jobs and advice on our Facebook page, DRS Defense Solutions Recruiting. Additionally, we maintain a DRS Defense Solutions group on LinkedIn for past, present and prospective employees.
DRS Defense Solutions | Maryland Life 9
DRS Defense Solutions’ Soldier Support Highlighting technologies and products at the 2011 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Expo At the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Meeting and Exposition, DRS Defense Solutions’ senior staff and leaders showed support of soldiers during a three-day exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. DRS Defense Solutions staff members regularly attend conferences and expositions around the country to discuss and demonstrate the ways in which their products and services support the ever-evolving needs of the American warfighter.
Photo by Mike Morgan
Gene Taylor explains the low-cost, low-size, -weight and -power (SWaP) characteristics of a DRS Signal Solutions surveillance receiver.
Made In Maryland, DRS Defense Solutions Picoreceptor surveillance receiver intercepts intelligence data from a number of bandwidths.
Photo by Mike Morgan
At DRS Defense Solutions, customer relations play a critical role in business development. Here Monica Soladay, Debi Luce and Gene Taylor discuss product benefits with a customer.
DRS Defense Solutions’ CommunicationsOn-The-Move (COTM) Antenna System is designed to deliver continuous high-bandwidth communications for voice, video and data in a highly dynamic environment.
Photo by Mike Morgan
DRS Defense Solutions | Maryland Life 11
Building tomorrow’s naval vessels today Stevensville center tackles design for ships large and small The Eastern Shore is home to more than crab cakes. It’s also home to DRS Defense Solutions’ Advanced Marine Technology Center (AMTC), which employs 22 highly qualified naval architects, marine engineers, software product developers, and project managers. A mere handful of companies in the world can compete in this type of business, so even though Marylanders may not be familiar
Staff members at the DRS Defense Solutions Advanced Marine Technology Center.
What Is. . . Naval Architecture: An engineering discipline dealing with the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of marine vessels and structures. Ship Hydrodynamics: The study of the dynamic interaction between a ship and the fluids in which it is operating. Specific sub-topics of particular importance to the overall ship design include resistance and propulsion, vessel motion and dynamic stability in waves, and ship maneuvering and controllability. Hull Form: The shape of the watertight body of a ship or boat. Sea-basing: The naval capability that provides commanders with the ability to conduct selected functions and tasks at sea without reliance on infrastructure ashore.
with the AMTC, they should be. The AMTC occupies a unique niche in a complex and unusual industry. Employees research, design, and implement advanced software and marine technology tools that enable government agencies and commercial shipbuilders to analyze nearly every aspect of anything that can float or sink, from 18-foot pleasure boats to massive naval ships. The Stevensville site has also developed a high-performance computing (HPC) facility used to perform the high-end computations required to address hull form and hydrodynamic analysis. These resources represent a multiple, parallel-processing super computer and 12 years of research and development, explains Dennis Kingsley, manager of hydrodynamics and HPC. Since joining the AMTC in 2007, Kingsley and the hydrodynamics team have continually enhanced the HPC facility, which runs massive numbers of simultaneous serial simulations and/or smaller numbers of
In Good Company
massive parallel simulations. In 2007, AMTC was founded by W.A. (Skip) Powers, who now serves as vice president. He immediately brought in industry veterans like George Hazen, creator of the software responsible for the design of some of the highest performing racing vessels in the world, including America’s Cup winners. Tobin McNatt, a Naval Academy graduate with extensive experience in ballistic and fast-attack submarines, also joined the team as a director. “We are looking at creating a practical reality to safely and efficiently transfer fuel, food, cargo, ammunition, and troops to at least one other ship, perhaps more, to support sea-basing,” says new hire Dr. Piotr Bandyk about one of the new projects at the AMTC. “When it’s calm, it’s not so interesting, but it’s very difficult to calculate and predict at-sea transfers when ships are in motion, the wind speed is high, the seas are high, and there are limited sensors and radars to gather measurements.”
...The People of DRS Defense Solutions
Dr. Piotr Bandyk, Naval Architect/Software Developer
Today, DRS Defense Solutions’ Advanced Marine Technology Center (AMTC) continues to seek master’s- and Ph.D.-level candidates from the best institutions in the world as represented by its newest recruit, Dr. Piotr Bandyk, a 2009 University of Michigan graduate with a Ph.D. in naval architecture and marine engineering. “Piotr is a perfect fit for AMTC,” says AMTC Vice President W.A. (Skip) Powers. “His dissertation and post-doctoral research on hydrodynamics and developing a real-time ship motion prediction program is exactly what we deal with every day.” Bandyk and his colleagues are developing tools to design and evaluate the performance of commercial and military ships, specifically focusing on hydrodynamics. In his first year, Bandyk is impressed with the knowledge-sharing among teams. “There is a cohesive camaraderie and willingness for the older and younger engineers and architects to work together. We all continue to get smarter and to grow from each other’s knowledge,” he explains. While Bandyk clearly enjoys his new daily routine, he is cognizant that the body of work he is helping to create represents far more. “I feel that I am contributing to something that keeps our sailors safe and gives Photo by Jennifer Hunter us a strategic edge,” he says, “and that is very important.”
In Good Company
...The People of DRS Defense Solutions Rhonda Lyons, Deployment Specialist By Monica Soladay
Sometimes Rhonda Lyons has to remind herself not to parent the field technicians with whom she works. It’s easy to see why. In her role as a deployment operations specialist for DRS Technical Services, Lyons draws on her 25 years as a claims representative and supervisor for the Social Security Administration and 10 years as an executive assistant, marketing coordinator, and human resources specialist for a small defense contractor. But when it comes to helping newly hired young employees adjust to the world’s war-torn hot spots, it is her life experience as a caregiver and provider that perhaps comes most in handy. As part of a team of five deployment specialists for DRS Technical Services looking after more than 200 technicians, Lyons helps these new hires quickly get up to speed for travel to any number of remote locations, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Kosovo, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. She expedites passport requests, schedules physicals, and processes human resources paperwork. But more than that, she and other deployment specialists prepare these new hires for life in the field. “We are their sisters, their mothers, their grandmothers,” says Lyons, a resident of Ashburn, Virginia, who raised two children in addition to parenting her now-adult stepdaughter and a foster daughter. “Some of them are young enough to be our children or grandchildren. I have to watch myself because I shift into Photo by Tim Jacobsen mommy mode. I talk to them as I talk to my 23-year-old son.” The bulk of new employees hired for work in austere environments like Afghanistan or Iraq are young men with previous military experience, although there are currently two women deployed. All have backgrounds in satellite communications and IT, on which they draw in their work to support the satellite services that DRS Technical Services provides to the military. “Sometimes it’s scary because I’m sending someone’s baby to a hostile environment,” says Lyons of her work. In the field, conditions vary. Some employees live in apartments, while others sleep in tents in more remote areas. All are issued protective gear in addition to their list of company charge codes and contact information. “A lot of them work 12-hour days, seven days a week on some contracts,” Lyons says. In their free time, they seek comfort in familiar activities from home, such as working out in available gyms on base. After their arrival in theater, typically the deployed employees turn to specialists like Lyons as their main point of contact with the company. Dilemmas like, “I can’t enter my expense report” or “I am locked out of the system” are fairly common. But deployed staff members also share more personal stories about their experiences in
rugged and often dangerous environments. “The complaint that I hear most often is, ‘The sand gets in everything,’” Lyons says. “They send us pictures when they get there to show us how they are, how they’re doing. We check on them.” Although deployed staff members rarely discuss firefights, Lyons does hear about them. That danger became real in September 2010, when DRS Technical Services employee Javier de la Garza, a deployed colleague, was killed by an explosive device while taking cover in a shelter. “When we sat next to each other in orientation, I had no idea that they would be in so much danger and that the person sitting next to me could possibly be gone six months later,” says Lyons. “The dangers aren’t new to deployed employees—they know from the first conversation they have with us. But it was new for me.” She adds, “I don’t worry about them, but I do pray for them.” Despite those dangers, Lyons has found a calling in her work. “I love helping people, so this is like the best job in the world for me,” she says. “That’s why I liked human resources; that’s why I liked being a claims representative. I’ve spent my whole life helping people leading up to this.” DRS Defense Solutions | Maryland Life 13
In Good Company
...The People of DRS Defense Solutions
Angela Schmidt, Engineering Manager, Systems and Project Engineering, DRS Signal Solutions
Angela Schmidt likes to solve problems. The Annapolis native, who holds an M.S in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland, is an engineering manager at DRS Signal Solutions in Gaithersburg. This DRS Defense Solutions business unit develops, manufactures, and supplies signal intelligence equipment—SIGINT—to the U.S. government and its allies. Schmidt is among the savvy DRS Signal Solutions engineers dedicated to helping fight the war on terrorism. She and fellow employees create and tweak SIGINT equipment, hardware, and software. Additionally, she performs detailed engineering work across a wide range of electrical engineering disciplines. This important gear intercepts and collects signals from cell phones, radar, and electronic equipment. “Our quest is to provide the best solutions for our customers by making, modifying, and integrating products to work faster, better, and smaller,” says Schmidt, who previously worked as a communications engineer designing hardware to receive satellite radio broadcasts.
“Many of our customers have specific problems, so we have to be really creative to help find the solution, and this creativity trickles through the process.” —Angela Schmidt
“Information is the key to avoiding violence, and what we make may prevent conflict by warning our military about possible enemies.” Decoding information and intercepting secret messages is not new to the military. However, the way in which signals and foreign intelligence are gathered and interpreted has become more complicated since 9/11. Enemies of the U.S. have changed the way they wage war. They are often hidden, use varied technology, and might not even be part of a government. At DRS Signal Solutions, electrical and mechanical engineers design and modify highperformance products that rapidly process and filter signals. Software gurus ensure that the equipment interfaces with their customers’ particular applications. Size, weight, and power are crucial elements, since the user must be able to place the equipment where they can quickly determine what signals are in the area, where and what they are coming from, and whether they are in the presence of other signals. “As an engineer, we are all about optimization, given the constraints,” explains Schmidt, who began her career at DRS Signal Solutions as a junior engineer and recently managed a radio frequency (RF) engineering group, as well. “We help figure out how to make a product better and easier to use than before while saving time, money, and complexity.” Schmidt and her team members work on four main types of equipment: tuners, receivers,
data recorders, and transmitters. Equipment size varies broadly and may be utilized from the ground and on planes, ships, and submarines. The smaller equipment, which can be controlled remotely, is installed on unmanned aerial vehicles, while portable gadgets are worn by soldiers. Schmidt is passionate about her work, which she enjoys because of the resourceful problemsolving aspect. “Many of our customers have specific problems, so we have to be really creative to help find the solution, and this creativity trickles through the process,” she says. “Angela was recently promoted because of her broad technical background, eagerness to learn, and willingness to take on new challenges,” says Bob Becker, vice president of engineering. “Angela has transitioned from a great engineer to a tremendously valuable leader, manager, and individual contributor.” Schmidt the problem-solver enjoys the physical and mental aspects of her work, from architecting tuners and receivers in the lab to writing code and collaborating with team members as they tackle a specific issue. “People here are very smart, always willing to help, and ready to work with you to find an answer,” she says. Like all DRS Defense Solutions employees, her ultimate customer remains first and foremost in her mind: “I know what we make may be used to move and protect soldiers,” she says.
*I LOVE my job! Love what you do at DRS Defense Solutions. At DRS Defense Solutions, our employees work in a fast-paced and challenging environment, developing cutting edge products and services that directly support U.S. troops. Our talented, driven employees push each other -- and our company -- to grow and achieve. We want you to join us.
to find the job youâ€™ll love today. Equal Opportunity Employer M F D V
DRS Defense Solutions | Maryland Life 15
Careers for Transitioning Military Members
As a major player in the defense industry, our company’s success stems from talented veterans who have first-hand knowledge of the products and services that protect our nation’s soldiers. To learn more about current career opportunities domestically or internationally, visit www.drs-ds.com/careers. We make a difference in our communities and around the world. We can make a difference in your career as well. Find us on Facebook at “DRS Defense Solutions Recruiting.” Equal Opportunity Employer M F D V
Published on Oct 3, 2011
Created by the Marketing Communications staff (Director, Media Mgr & Corporate Writer) and the staff at Maryland Life Magazine.