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Random Thought: NASA Externships as an Alternative to “Training-Wheels” Intramural R&D?

9 Jun 2015, 05:24 UTC
Random Thought: NASA Externships as an Alternative to “Training-Wheels” Intramural R&D?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

[Here’s one last draft I’ve found to polish off–this one only from a year ago. It’s a little bit of a touch subject–I’m not trying to denigrate what the NASA teams mentioned in this post were doing, just trying to suggest another, possibly better way of achieving the same underlying goal–that of giving new NASA engineers hands-on experience working on lean, fast-moving engineering projects.]
I’ve written about the idea of NASA/AFRL externships before, but lately I’ve been thinking about the idea again as an alternative to NASA “training-wheels” intramural R&D. By “training wheels” intramural R&D, I’m talking about internally run NASA R&D projects which have training new engineers as one of their primary purposes. As I’ve pointed out many times in the past, knowledge and experience of how to do things doesn’t reside in documentation or in the walls of an organization, it resides in people. And that knowledge/experience has a “shelf-life.” People who haven’t had recent experience can get rusty, and over time, even those people can disperse, either via retirement, job changes, etc. So having some way of training new teams and giving them solid, hands-on experience early in their careers is really important.
While NASA talks about ...

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