No Opportunity Left Unchecked
Jamie Marie Garcia
BS in EE,
MS in EE,
Duke University, 2005
During my undergraduate experience at Binghamton University, I explored many possible careers. As a peer adviser for the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, I developed a relationship with many faculty and staff members and learned the Degree Auditing and Reporting System (DARS) inside and out, advising students on their options, and even revising the DARS system when the curriculum was updated. I also assisted a local patent law firm and learned about intellectual property and the qualifications necessary to patent an invention/procedure. I was a teaching assistant for Professor Mark Fowler's Signal Processing class, and was the president of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), where I organized and conducted annual "science badge" days for local Girl Scout troops, helped revise and execute the IBM EXITE program at Binghamton and served as the master of ceremonies at a conference I managed. During the summers, I explored Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Eastman Kodak Company. Through these experiences I determined that I enjoyed areas that mix theory with tangible applications. I subsequently accepted a scholarship and research assistantship from Duke University to study signal processing and detection theory applied to detecting landmines.
At Applied Research Associates in Raleigh, N.C., I establish new relationships with potential clients while performing high-quality technical work. Recently, as project manager and principal investigator of a $35,000 internal research and development grant, I managed a staff of two senior researchers. The project was a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seedling follow-on for Concealed Weapons and Explosives Detection at a Distance (CWEDD), which I brought from initial scope development and risk mitigation to execution and implementation, preparing the final deliverables on time and 10 percent under budget. I also led the technical development of an image-quality metric to adaptively optimize fusion algorithms for night vision goggles in the DARPA Multi-Spectral Adaptive Networked Tactical Imaging System (MANTIS). I was also a team leader of senior engineers as they investigated and developed a process to autonomously drape perspective images onto 3D aerial Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) models.
Outside my primary role as an engineering consultant at Applied Research Associates, I have continued my involvement in engineering outreach. Currently, I am the vice president of the Eastern North Carolina section of SWE and have launched a professional development initiative, researched and briefed a national mentoring program and established a networking resource. I also volunteer for the Teachers and Scientists Collaborating (TASC) program, where I train K-12 teachers in new inquiry-based learning techniques applied to science and mathematics topics.