Nita Patel

Nita Patel

Systems & Software Engineering Manager
L-3 Warrior Systems, Insight
Bedford, NH, United States
Nita Patel
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I am the Systems and Software Engineering Manager at L-3 Warrior Systems, Insight. We manufacture night-vision and electro-optical systems (i.e., cool cameras that help soldiers see in the dark at night). I was previously the Chief Engineer and Deputy Program Manager for RSIS in Norman, OK where I worked on the NEXRAD weather radar upgrade (i.e., we provided the data behind weather predictions). I am active with IEEE (the world’s largest professional association advancing technology for the benefit of humanity), with Toastmasters (the world leader in communication and leadership development) and the United States Chess Federation.

I received my MS Computer Engineering (1998), BS Electrical Engineering (1995) and BS Mathematics (1995) from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Nita Patel

Some of the hardships are the same as what you might encounter when you do a project at home. You might not have all the resources you want. For example, you might want to make breakfast for your whole family but you don't have enough butter or milk or bread. You need to get the right items to make it happen. In projects, you might have this hardship, not enough people to help, or materials to try or time to finish.

Another hardship might be that your first idea does not work. Sometimes you think something will work but when you try it, things don't work out. For example, you might try to make the pancakes but realize that the frying pan was too hot or you didn't use enough batter or you didn't cook it long enough.

All of these hardships can be overcome and sometimes by learning from what didn't work and trying again. 

Hi Cecilia. Thanks for your not-dumb question. It's a reasonable thing to wonder. Yes, there are several components of engineering that do not require lots of math and science. There are also some fields that are not as intensive as others. For example, some aspects of computer engineering or software engineering deal more with logic. There are certain mechanical and civil disciplines that focus more on design, materials and assembly. You will find that you need to work through the math and science to understand the concepts. However, once you start working and advance in your career, you have many tools that help you do the hard math -- you just need to know when the answers make sense and how to make trades. As with anything, some hard work is required to be successful. But it seems that you are not only willing but also capable of hard work. Given that, I am sure you will not only be a decent engineer but a successful one. Good luck!

Hi Savanna, Software engineering is an excellent choice and provides lots of opportunities. I think a combination of electrical and software engineering (typically called computer engineering) would allow you to combine both options. There are lots of opportunities in computer engineering. Many of the devices we encounter and use daily (cellphones, GPS systems, iPADs, Xbox 360, wii, laptops, remote-controlled cars, and so many more) have a processor inside that executes software. A combination of electrical, software and computer engineers designed the electronics and the software (i.e., code) running inside them. I am certain there are many opportunities in FL. There are many technology companies throughout the state. Disney World has a group called Walt Disney Imagineering that focuses exclusive on engineering the theme parks and creating the software and IT infrastructure that keep the theme parts running. I think they tend to look more for software engineers rather than computer engineers because software engineers work more on writing application code. For example, the game that runs on the Xbox or makes Google or Facebook work. Computer engineers would work closer to the electronics and hardware to make hand-held, embedded devices (which Disney does make but other companies like Apple and Samsung do make). Good luck and I hope you choose engineering. There are so many opportunities and different areas in which you can go with an engineering degree. I love it. Nita