Favorite and least favorite part of being team lead?
I most enjoy being able to watch so many individual projects fuse together successfully (not without a bit of blood, sweat, and tears) to create a capable submarine — or two. Least favorite part would probably be the email volume.
I’m currently working for a student startup, Stash, which I cofounded with Rahul Shah here at Cornell, and I plan to continue with that after graduation.
My freshman summer at TRANSDEC, with Gemini, when we decided before the final run to modify the mission code and tell the sub to attempt some untested tasks once it had accumulated just enough points to win. The extended mission didn’t work — actually, the sub misjudged the position of an element and ran into a wall — but as a result we learned quite clearly how we wanted to update our software design in the future. It was also rather entertaining.
Words of wisdom / advice?
Talk and debate — the more, the better — with AUV members on other subteams, especially those working on projects which interface with your own, even if they don’t have deep expertise in your engineering discipline. They frequently can offer a different perspective and suggest ideas or workarounds you may not have thought of.