Beth Joseph is a 1999 graduate from the Bachelor of Science in Human Factors program at Embry-Riddle, and she is currently a Senior Systems Engineer at Sikorksy Aircraft Corporation. Beth is also one of the leaders for the Connecticut/Sikorsky area alumni chapter.
Coming from a Human Factors background, how has your degree helped you succeed as a Systems Engineer?
My degree has definitely helped me with not only getting in the door at Sikorsky, but with my career path. When I first joined SIK, I started in the Crew Systems department, writing requirements and designing the cockpit displays for the pilots on the Comanche helicopter. I worked in a group with fellow ERAU Human Factors classmates, which made starting work at a new company so much more comfortable for me. When the Comanche program ended in 2004, a new opportunity in the System Engineering department emerged for me. With my Human Factors background, I was easily able to transition to System Engineering responsibilities, such as Requirements Management and Risk Management. I have been a System Engineer on several different Sikorsky helicopter programs, and have worked closely with our Customers while participating in many technical reviews, such as System Requirements Reviews, Preliminary and Critical Design Reviews.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
The biggest highlight so far has to be when I was given the opportunity to experience a helicopter ride in an S-76. It was so neat to actually be a passenger in one of our products. My flight took place on a Saturday in May with perfect weather, and the flight was amazing. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was inside the helicopter, once the doors were closed. It was a pretty smooth ride, and we got to hover above the helipad. What an experience! The other employees on my flight were so nice, and we all exchanged the photos we took in the air.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ve been working at Sikorsky for 9½ years now. Time flies when you enjoy your job and the people you work with. I would like to continue my career at Sikorsky. I’ve been toying with the idea of going to back to school to pursue a Masters degree.
As the Hartford-area Alumni Chapter Leader, please give us some insight into how alumni can get involved in their local chapters.
I think it is great having an Alumni Chapter where you work. The Connecticut/Sikorsky Alumni Chapter here is made up of Alumni who are Sikorsky employees, as well as other Alumni who live in the local CT area. Sikorsky is such a big company, that our Chapter provides everyone the opportunity to network with other Alumni coworkers who work in diverse areas, from mechanics who work on the production line, to engineers who are experts on the many different systems of the aircraft. Alumni can get more involved in their local chapters by showing up at Alumni Chapter events, such as social hours after work and community service opportunities. It’s also nice for members to suggest ideas for Alumni get-togethers, for things that they want to do or go see in the area. Our Alumni Chapter will be volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, as part of International Eagle Day. We will be working on framing two neighboring houses in New Haven, CT, which will be tough work but very rewarding.