Member of the Month - April 2019
Meet April's ASNE Member of the Month - Andi McCusker! Read on to learn a bit more about Andi in her interview with Membership Manager Michelle.
Michelle: What got you into Naval Engineering? (What specific event or moment).
Andi: I was offered the opportunity to enter the field 12 years ago when I was searching for a new postion. There was an opening for an Administrative position at a small business that supports naval engineering. I was privileged to work directly with the electrical and mechanical engineers of the company for a time, and now I support the team as a whole through our business development efforts. Our incredible engineering staff design products such as Variable Speed Drives and Programmable Logic Controllers for various naval platforms. I did not even know what those things were when I first started working in the field, but I have since learned a great deal about those products and our industry as a whole. I discovered just how much diverse skill and knowledge is required to make the Fleet mission-ready! From the engineer behind the computer designing or redesigning, to the technician in the shop fabricating the product, to the installer on the deck plates making the design come to life, and of course to those in support roles that help make it all possible. I fall somewhere in that last category.
Michelle: What is a fun fact most people don't know about you?
Andi: I spent 11 years teaching kindergarten and first grade. I absolutely love kids at that young age when they are still so eager to learn and please. These days I get to share my teaching experience with my own little kindergarten and first grade grandkids. What a delight they are! The older one may end up in engineering; he likes math and eagerly builds Lego creations. The younger one will probably be a lawyer; she has definite opinions and asks many questions!
Michelle: What is one engineer/scientist/ or mathematician dead or alive would you like to meet?
Andi: One of my co-workers (an electrical engineer of advanced engineered products) is a tremendous inspiration to me. He not only helped design many of the products our company delivered to the Navy over the years and develop technical solutions for our customers, but he took his engineering knowledge and expertise to the mission field to help residents of a small village in a third world country gain access to water. There was potential risk of customs agents confiscating his equipment on the way into the country, but he bravely went anyway and the people of the village were extremely grateful and blessed that he did!
Michelle: If you could engineer your perfect concession stand/food truck, what would it be?
Andi: It would be an intelligent, power managed breakfast-only food truck and could operate in remote locations. I love breakfast food any time of the day and in any place! The truck would run efficiently and inexpensively with the use of an energy storage and controls system to power it.
Michelle: Why are you a member of ASNE?
Andi: I was encouraged to join when I saw firsthand the way ASNE events bring people together from the military, industry and community. The events not only provide opportunities for networking and promoting our organizations, but opportunities for fun like the Build-A-Boat event here in the Hampton Roads area. I like that the event is a fundraiser for ASNE’s scholarship program and STEM education opportunities. Another reason I am a member is due to an ASNE member encouraging me to join. She did a fabulous job showing me the benefits of ASNE. Her enthusiasm for the organization led me to say, “Yes! I’d like to be a part of that.”
Michelle: What does "Naval Engineering" mean to you?
Andi: To me Naval Engineering is key to getting warfighters where they need to go, and safely bringing them home again. Our naval men and women greatly depend on engineering to be reliable, efficient, robust, advanced but user-friendly, and above all reliable. This means that we all need to be the best at what we do so that our naval forces can get the job done and get back home!