When “surround yourself with talent” becomes a company mission.
Andrew Mank’s advice to young engineers points to the company they keep because it says a lot about the company they work for: Surround yourself with talented people. It’s the reason Andrew has enjoyed the challenges and rewards of the defense industry, and the reason he joined Numerica in 2019.
“Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you,” says Andrew, Senior Research Scientist at Numerica. “It will help to elevate yourself and it’s exciting to work with people who encourage you to grow.”
Numerica feels youthful, academic
Numerica’s knack for hiring smart, talented people was one of the major draws for Andrew when he was hired to work on a project in the winter of 2019. Having worked in the defense industry since 2004, Andrew had become accustomed to outsized corporate org charts. At Numerica, the smaller, agile teams and breadth of expertise was a welcomed change of pace.
“Numerica has a more academic feel than other places,” says Andrew. “We have many smart people with advanced degrees. You’ll see us white-boarding ideas and equations, complex algorithms—it’s a collaborative creative space.”
A collaborative, academic approach to work is part of Numerica’s DNA, with co-workers hailing from top-research institutes like Stanford, Caltech, Carnegie Melon, Princeton and UCLA (Andrew’s alma mater). It’s why Numerica’s Fort Collins headquarters maintains a robust library on campus and nourishes rich ties with students and recent graduates for networking and recruitment opportunities.
Young professionals in fields of engineering, computer science and applied mathematics can find a unique opportunity to work in a high-octane environment, learning from some of the best and brightest in the industry like Andrew and his co-workers in the fields of the Air and Missile Defense.
Active outreach may be a big factor in creating a more intellectually agile work culture. According to Andrew, Numerica has “a more youthful company culture than other places I’ve worked at—people are not set in their ways and are open to new ideas,” which has encouraged the team to “continue to advance what we’re working on by coming up with new and improved solutions.”
Small, collaborative teams is a key to success
Another benefit to working with such smart, talented professionals is the level of contribution each team member is able to make.
“The variety of things that I get to do and the chance to get my hands dirty doing engineering work developing systems from the ground up,” are huge perks of working at Numerica, says Andrew.
Specifically, work in Air and Missile Defense as a systems engineer with a focus in signal processing. Andrew is attached to some of Numerica’s biggest projects, like Spyglass™, a short-range surveillance radar that blends the company’s advanced algorithms with two decades of air and missile defense expertise. The precision surveillance radar can see farther and react faster, deploy anywhere, and close the gap that traditional pulse-doppler radar designs leave open.
“At Numerica, we have small but effective teams working together,” says Andrew. “I have a direct opportunity to guide development with my input towards the problems we’re working together to solve, like real threats to military services and civilians. I can see what kind of impact our work can have.”
Andrew adds, “I also enjoy the team I’m on and working with them day-to-day through the challenges and issues that we encounter in our work.”
While Andrew gets to see his work play out in large-scale adoption and application, like the case of Spyglass, which is distributed exclusively by Liteye, he also finds endless reward in working out solutions to those day-to-day engineering challenges.
“We recently had some field tests push beyond what we had previously accomplished,” says Andrew. “Making modifications and optimizing performance out in the field—it’s great to see the hard work pay off. In general, it’s always very exciting as an engineer to see your work ‘come to life’. It’s like this ‘Oh my gosh it worked!’ moment. It should have, but it’s still really satisfying to see it happen.”
It’s also another example of how surrounding yourself with smart people keeps the job interesting.
“It just makes my job more exciting,” says Mank. “You push yourself to be better. When you put yourself in a position with talented people all around you, you’ll advance yourself and make your daily work more interesting and enjoyable in the process.”
To learn more about Numerica’s work, value and culture, visit https://www.numerica.us/our-story