Meet Katherine Fay,
SELEX Galileo Inc.
Job: Senior Software Engineer
Location: Huntsville, AL
Company: SELEX Galileo Inc.
With the Company Since: 2009
Hobbies: Hiking, bird watching, reading and playing piano
Fun Fact: I was an Undecided Liberal Arts major until my junior year in college. After taking a Logic course from the Philosophy Dept and getting my first A, I was inspired to apply my newly found logical mind toward the only engineering program available at the time, and spent the remainder of my undergraduate career filling out a B.S. in Computer Science, which led me to my current role in engineering.
What are your work responsibilities?
I’m the lead software engineer here at our Huntsville site, and manage the software development activities for Product Support Engineering. We develop enhancements to the Aircraft Gateway Processor (AGP) software that allow new sensors to be integrated onto the Apache helicopter without requiring a modification to the aircraft software. This saves the customer a lot of money. One of these modified systems was deployed to Afghanistan for field evaluation early this fall. We’re very proud of the new capabilities that we are helping to bring to the Apache.
What aspect of your career do you enjoy most?
I enjoy working with the System Engineering team doing requirements analysis for software development that will meet our customer’s needs. We have a small engineering team, but we work well together. I also find it to rewarding to interact with our customers and spend time working with them in their Aircraft Integration Labs.
What are some of the challenges that come along with your job?
The greatest challenge is probably dealing with ill-defined customer requirements, which present a high degree of risk to schedule and project stability in general. Another challenge is retention. There are a lot of great high-tech companies in Huntsville, and it’s not easy to keep a good software engineer down!
How did you come to work for SELEX Galileo Inc.?
I used to live in the Tampa, FL area, and was looking for work that would make use of my skills in software modeling using UML while also staying in avionics systems. SELEX Galileo was able to offer me a position that met both of these objectives, plus the added challenge of the opportunity to work with the Army (I’d primarily worked Air Force programs up to that point) …
Do you have any advice for those who are new to SELEX Galileo Inc.?
Be open-minded and flexible, as the dynamics of a small company that works as a U.S. component of a much larger global company, are very different than your typical American “startup”. Patience is another thing to keep handy, as the wheels of progress tend to grind a lot slower than you might expect.
What is one thing that stands out to you about SELEX Galileo Inc.?
The dedication and hard work of our employees here in Huntsville. You see it in the dedication of our management, and in the quality of our products – in production, in product repair and in engineering.
What is your favorite book that you have recently read and why?
kite runner (by KhaledHossein). It is the best book I’ve read in years! It is a powerful and haunting story of friendship and betrayal in war-torn Afghanistan, as recalled by the author – once an Afghan refugee and now a writer living in America.