Opportunities abound in weapons technology

    The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego came to UCSD on April 15 looking for students who could apply their academic background to fighting the war on terrorism.

    Lyon Liew
    Guardian

    The center’s information day was aimed primarily at students majoring in computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering. It was intended to allow students to talk with scientists currently working for SPAWAR. Students also turned in resumes.

    This is the second information session SSC San Diego has held at UCSD this year. The first one was held fall quarter.

    UCSD alumnus John Roese, the coordinator for Spawar in the Corporate Affiliates Program, said the organizers of Monday’s session were pleased with the high turnout.

    “”[We held the first] information day in the fall and we had a pretty modest turnout, and this time we’ve had a much better turnout,”” Roese said. “”We’re a new C.A.P. member, so we’re excited about the kind of response we’ve received.””

    Matt Butler, a junior computer science major from Earl Warren College, said he was “”surprised”” at the large turnout, but offered a reason for increased interest in the event.

    “”SPAWAR’s gotten a lot of money since Sept. 11,”” Butler said.

    Roese also emphasized the goals of information day, which included showcasing SSC San Diego and to “”tell people we’re hiring.”” He attributed the low turnout fall quarter to inadequate advertising.

    SPAWAR’s San Diego lab is the U.S. Navy’s leading laboratory for information technology and is located in Point Loma, Calif. About 3,500 people work there, and more than half are scientists and engineers.

    SPAWAR mainly researches military command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, navigation, and fleet support. A promotional e-mail message stated that “”with the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, an added urgency has been imposed on SSC San Diego’s broad range of scientific and technical activities.””

    Scientists working on applications of robotics, advanced electronic and opto-electronics, automated speaker verification and ocean bathymetrics attended the event, according advertisements. These presenters talked with students and also showcased some of their creations.

    SPAWAR employee Aaron Burmeister, who graduated from UCSD in June 2001 with a degree in mechanical engineering, said the information day is important in helping to attract talent to SPAWAR.

    “”[Information day] is definitely a helpful forum,”” Burmeister said.

    Students attending the event also supported such events.

    “”It’s more personal,”” said Davy Chang, a senior computer science major at John Muir College. “”If you actually talk to the people who work in the fields, it gives you a better idea of what job you want.””

    Joanna Sison, an Eleanor

    Roosevelt College senior who is majoring in math and computer science, agreed.

    “”At the job fair it’s usually just the [human relations] people, and they don’t really know anything about the job,”” she said.

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