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5 Things About Me: Engineer (Retired) Bob Woods

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Engineer Bob Woods worked at Sandia Labs solid rockets and stratospheric balloons before retirement. He now has time to explore his hobbies, flying gliders and ham radio operation. (Photo: Bob Woods)

Bob Woods
Licensed Ph.D Engineer, Retired
Sandia Labs, Albuquerque, New Mexico


Background:
I am a licensed Ph.D engineer, retired from Sandia Labs in Albuquerque where I went directly after getting my degrees from Princeton.  I worked my way up starting with research with solid rockets and stratospheric balloons.  It was mostly vacuum technology -- designing and flying specialized gauges and optical instruments.

Question 1: Why did you become an engineer?
Answer: After reading Arthur C. Clarke's "Interplanetary Flight" at age 16 I knew I wanted to do rocket engineering.

Question 2: What are you most proud of in your work?
Answer: The apogee occurred when I designed optical mechanisms and X-ray instrumentation for satellites.

Question 3: Share a comment or opinion you have on a topical science-related issue.
Answer: A lifelong interest, which I now have time to explore, is the influence of technology on human history.

Question 4: Share a memory from your career.
Answer: As a Congressional Science Fellow from 1991-1992, thanks to AAAS, I had an opportunity to meet a real space pioneer -- John Glenn.

Question 5: Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer: In my spare time I have long been a glider pilot. I find that working your way up to altitude in a sailplane is almost a religious experience, sailing small boats is the nearest thing. I also dabble in ham radio and radio controlled models.

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Engineer Bob Woods worked at Sandia Labs solid rockets and stratospheric balloons before retirement. He now has time to explore his hobbies, flying gliders and ham radio operation. (Photo: Bob Woods)
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