Advice to Rocket Scientists: A Career Survival Guide for Scientists and Engineers

J.M. Longuski

Advice to Rocket Scientists: A Career Survival Guide for Scientists and Engineers book cover
  • ISBN: 1-56347-655X
  • Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.(AIAA), Restin, Virginia
  • Date: 2004
  • Table of Contents

As a long-time NASA engineer and astronautics professor, Jim Longuski watched first hand as gifted rocket scientists and students learned their way around the lab only to lose their way in the board room.

Longuski decided to write what he calls a survival guide for rocket scientists. In this small book, Longuski uses humor and personal anecdotes to give engineers and scientists an edge in an industry in which one gets ahead as much on interpersonal-skills as on technical merits.

If you are a rocket scientist, or want to become a rocket scientist, or know and care about a rocket scientist—then this book is for you, Longuski explains in his introduction.

The book is especially valuable for those who are attempting career transitions, whether from student to aerospace worker or from aerospace worker to university researcher or teacher. Longuski explains how the work place is different from the academic environment. He gives readers real-world advice about how to find jobs, negotiate offers, and keep bosses happy. He implores students to have confidence and speak directly with potential employers rather than simply mailing in resumes and hoping for the best.

He tells readers how to produce technical reports and give presentations that will keep colleagues interested. In a chapter called What if the Rocket Doesn't Work? he helps engineers cope with failure.

Longuski presents a reality that too many scientists and engineers ignore: Getting ahead and staying happy involves mastering inter-office politics.